Olympic protocol prevents Norwegian Christina Pedersen from responding to heavy criticism for calling delay of game on Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod during the USA's Olympic semifinal win, but her father, Rolf, says his daughter told him she warned McLeod twice for holding the ball beyond the allowable six seconds before whistling her for it. He also said that his daughter warned Canadian captain Christine Sinclair that her goalkeeper was hanging onto the ball more than the permitted time.
"She don't play with USA flag," Rolf Pedersen told CBC News. "She's just an objective referee."
The 31-year-old Christina Pedersen, a daycare and substitute teacher, comes from a family of referees. Rolf said he has been refereeing soccer for 25 years and his son also refs. His wife and other daughter referee team handball.
"Ever since she [Christina] was a little girl, the rules have been very important to her. She don't like this situation," he said, referring to accusations that his daughter was biased and favoured the U.S. team. "She's completely fair. It's very important for Christina. I know her. ... I told her: 'Be proud that you made the right decision, you must be a tough referee.' It was a tough match. A lot of hard tackles."