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FIFA throws book at Canada star
by Paul Kennedy, October 15th, 2012 12:16AM
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TAGS:  canada, fifa


[SINCLAIR SUSPENSION] The controversy surrounding the USA's 4-3 win over Canada in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympic women's competition won't die any time soon. Christine Sinclair, who scored all three Canada goals in the game, was handed a four-game suspension Friday for her criticism of referee Christiana Pedersen.

According to FIFA regulations, suspensions from an incident in an official match typically carry over to the next set of games in an official competition, but since Canada will host the 2015 Women's World Cup and have no official matches between now and then, Sinclair's suspension will be served in Canada's next four friendly games.

Sinclair was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for "displaying unsporting behavior towards match officials" after the game.

Sinclair and her teammates and coaches were upset that Pedersen called Canada goalie Erin McLeod for timewasting on a play late in the game that led to the tying U.S. goal.

"We feel like we didn't lose, we feel like it was taken from us," Sinclair said after the game. "It's a shame in a game like that, that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started."

Sinclair wasn't the only one to level criticism against the call.

Canada coach John Herdman said “it felt like it was America and the referee against” the Canadians. “She’ll have to sleep in bed tonight after watching the replays, she’s got that to live with,” he said. “We’ll move on from this, I wonder if she’ll be able to.”

Forward Melissa Tancredi told Pederson after the call: "That’s ridiculous. I hope you can sleep tonight and put on your American jersey because that’s who you played for tonight."

The CSA did not indicate that any action was taken against Herdman or Tancredi, who stepped on U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd during the game without being punished.

The CSA said Sinclair would hold a press conference on Monday. Reaction out of Canada was swift:

Tweeted TSN analyst Jason deVos, "Christine Sinclair fined and suspended four matches by FIFA for 'unsporting behaviour'. Insert joke about FIFA here..."

  1. Steven McDonald
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.
    Tancredi should not be ignored with regards to the foul on Lloyd. If what Sinclair did was worth 4 games, then that foul was worth ten.The suspension itself is a joke.Fines would be better.
  1. Jack Torok
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
    and how many games wil the Norwegian Referee get for calling an absolutely abysmal game? My guess is you won't see her in a high caliber FIFA game again...and since Canada has automatic entry into the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada, the 4 Friendly games that Sinclair will miss are not a big deal.
  1. Mj Lee
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.
    This is an unfair suspension for Christine Sinclair -- one game would be reasonable. The referee clearly was influenced by Abby Wambach and should not have cautioned the GK. The ensuing PK was definitely a poor call. I only recorded the 2nd half of that game, but I counted the number of seconds that the Canadian GK possessed the ball before releasing it. I thought all were close to 6", and the last one was actually shorter than the rest. That GK clearly had a systematic habit of bouncing the ball, looking left and then right and then something else. I can't remember exactly what her process was, but it was clearly something she did automatically and was not meant as a time waster. The 6" rule is about deliberate time wasting. The referee misapplied the LOTG.
  1. john haley
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 5:16 p.m.
    Once again common sense is missing from a highly emotional issue. The Canadian keeper was warned several times to stop delaying the game. If the Canadian women were smarter, they would have played possession on the filed to kill the clock. Blatant delays by a keeper that was warned several times, is something that the Canadian coach and keeper should offer an apology for. To bash a Referee for this particular call is wrong.
  1. Fraser Day
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 9:42 p.m.
    Common sense by all as adults should have prevailed
  1. Robert Fraser
    commented on: October 15, 2012 at 10:16 p.m.
    Common sense by all including the head official; agree that McLeod pushed her constantly on delay of game, but given the moment, should have told her to get the ball back in play rather than create a goal-scoring opportunity. Then when the US player Wambaugh counted off to 10 clearly within earshot, Referee Pederson should have immediately blown whistle to stop game, cautioned Wambaughfor dissent or unsporting behaviour and restarted game with IFK for Canada. option could also have been for Referee to caution GK for persistent infringement of the LOTG.
  1. Ken Jamieson
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.
    FIFA has noted that the suspension was not for Sinclair's post game comments but rather for approaching the match official after the game. If FIFA wants to be consistent in its application of justice then start giving similar bans to the men who swarm officials and protest calls. Clearly this is a case where FIFA could not sanction Sinclair for her comments, which were bang on, but rather for her approaching the official after the game. A safe way of saying the referee f****d up but we don't like you pointing it out to her.
  1. Karen Lehman
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.
    Pederson made an unpopular but correct call. FIFA stood behind her because it was the right thing to do. If the keeper's action were unconscious as someone tried to claim that would be believable if she didn't receive half a dozen warnings during the game! Wambaugh for unsporting behavior - come on!

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