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Martins wins red card appeal
June 5th, 2013 4:32PM

TAGS:  mls, seattle sounders


[MLS DISCIPLINE] An independent review panel rescinded the fine and one-game suspension for a red card issued to Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins in the 71st minute of Sunday’s game against Chivas USA. Martins will be eligible for Seattle’s home game Saturday against Vancouver with more than 50,000 fans expected to attend.

Martins got his legs tangled with Chivas USA's Gabriel Farfan and referee Ricardo Salazar immediately red carded the Nigerian though replays showed he did not nothing more than try to stand up when he stepped on Farfan after an otherwise innocuous challenge on a ball in midfield.

The red card was the fifth in five games to the Sounders in matches officiated by Ricardo Salazar.

Asked by the Seattle Times whether it was a good idea to not have MLS referees work games involving certain teams -- ie. the case of Salazar and the long-standing issues the Sounders have had with him -- Coach Sigi Schmid responded, "No comment really on that. I think the referees get assigned by the league and they determine whose game they’re going to referee. I try and stay out of that. I’ve got enough problems."

  1. eric olmstead
    commented on: June 6, 2013 at 11:23 a.m.
    Ricardo Salazar.....5 red cards in 5 Sounders matches.....what is the statistical probability of that??? Come on MLS, step in and send him to a lower league to re-learn how to make calls in the heat of the game or remove him from Sounders matches for a season to let his bias mellow. That is a joke. Shame on MLS for allowing that to continue.
  1. Doug Broadie
    commented on: June 6, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.
    I've been saying that Salazar should not be allowed to referee in the MLS for years and especially not Seattle.
  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: June 6, 2013 at 4:14 p.m.
    Looking at the video, I'm not so sure Salazar got it all wrong. (ok, cue the outrage from Sounders fans.) This is a gray area; he could have let it slide, and no one would have been too bent out of shape. Martins didn't seem to have ill intent. But the Laws don't deal with 'intent' (with the exception of 'simulation'), instead focusing on whether a player plays with disregard to the opponent's safety. "[N]othing more than try[ing] to stand up" doesn't mean anything goes. When you fall on an opponent like that you should have some care about how you get back up. Bringing your opponent down with a foul, falling on him, then stepping on or kicking his face in your zeal to get back up could be considered in its entirety "excessive force or brutality" and certainly shows a lack of regard for your opponent's safety. (From the "Interpretations" section, Law 12: "A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.") That a lenient disciplinary committee overturned the sanction doesn't surprise me. This is the MLS after all.
  1. eric olmstead
    commented on: June 7, 2013 at 11:48 a.m.
    Ramon.....It's a contact sport for gods sake. They were both going at each other with no malicious intent but with the attitude of I'm winning this battle...The rest of the Sounders, not counting Alonzo, could take a lesson from Martins in his "zeal", as you put it, to get back into the "froth" of the play. You can go back and forth on this. What is statistically hard to argue is 5 red cards in 5 matches with Salazar in the center. The odds of that have gotta approach winning Powerball. Salazar is just not a very good referee and the MLS fans deserve better.

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