Referee Jair Marrufo
and Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco
are currently under investigation by the U.S. Soccer Federation and the league for their conduct during the 2-2 tie between
Columbus and Chicago on Saturday.
Multiple witnesses reported seeing Blanco broach the entrance to the referees' locker room following the game with a Fire jersey in his hand. He
reportedly tossed the jersey into the room occupied by Marrufo and his assistant referees. "All referees know they are not supposed to accept gifts from anyone," said Ohio state
referee administrator Ken Baldoesingh
During the game, Marrufo issued a controversial red card to Crew defender Gino Padula
for a foul on Blanco in the second half.
Leading 2-0 at the time of the card, the Crew allowed two late goals while playing at a man disadvantage. The Crew is appealing the automatic fine and one-game suspension of Padula, citing
inconsistencies in Marrufo's calls and his alleged acceptance of Blanco's gift.
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