Klinsmann: Jones red card was 'joke' and 'disgrace'

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann did not think much of the decision of Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan to send off Jermaine Jones in the 52nd minute of the USA's Copa Centenario quarterfinal against Ecuador, calling it an "'absolute joke" and "disgrace."

The incident, which followed the sending off of Antonio Valencia for his second yellow card, changed the complexion of the game, though the USA fortunately escaped with a 2-1 win.



The USA was largely in control, taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, and added a second goal on Gyasi Zardes' tap-in in the 65th minute, but the second half certainly changed in the 52nd minute when Jones was red carded.

The incident began when Valencia took down Alejandro Bedoya in front of the USA bench -- a clear yellow card, Valencia's second of the game, which would have given the USA a man advantage.

But as players from both teams raced to surround Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan, John Brooks shoved Michael Arroyo in the back, so when the Ecuadoran turned around to shove back Jones was right there.

Both players had their hands up. Jones' left got Arroyo in the face, however slightly. Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan didn't see it, but the fourth official, Brazilian Wilton Sampaio did, and Jones was gone for violent conduct.

(Under new IFAB rules implemented for the 2016-17 season, "a player who, when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was negligible.")

Klinsmann did not say whether he had seen replays of the decision, but he did not like it.

"Unfortunately, we lost Jermaine for that incident, which is an absolute joke because it was right there, and the fourth referee made that decision. Not the referee. The referee didn't see it. He followed the advice of the fourth official out there, and it's a disgrace."

41 comments about "Klinsmann: Jones red card was 'joke' and 'disgrace'".
  1. T michael Flinn, June 17, 2016 at 8:10 a.m.

    I am a huge US fan, but I have to disagree with Klinnsman on this. June 1 every coach and player should have been aware of the rule emphasis on prevent9ing contact with player's faces. Jones's hand was in a fist and though the contact with the face was negligible, it was contact. The fourth official did his job.

  2. Wooden Ships, June 17, 2016 at 8:13 a.m.

    I thought Dr. Joe got it wrong on the broadcast. I like his input(s), but if negligible is in the language then he shouldn't have been carded. Maybe?

  3. David Warren, June 17, 2016 at 8:26 a.m.

    Trying to understand what T Michael Flinn is saying. UNLESS THE FORCED USED WAS NEGLIGIBLE is now in the LAWs. TMF says (and I agree) that the force was neglible.

    Hence no red card.

    That doesn't mean JJ wasn't an idiot. He was. But not a red card under the laws.

  4. Brent Crossland, June 17, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.

    I agree, TFlinn. The disappointing thing is that a veteran like Jones let his emotions rule (again) and handed the referee a reason to equalize the two sides. As to "negligible", that can be difficult to judge from any distance and even a light slap to the face can have an incendiary effect on the game. This is all on Jermaine Jones.

  5. cisco martinez, June 17, 2016 at 8:46 a.m.

    That was one of the worst referees decisions I've seen in my career. If anything a responsible referee would have tried to step in after Valencia's challenge knowing that tackle was a cheap on bedoya. Jones did what anyone who's played the game would have done, defended your team.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, June 17, 2016 at 10:11 a.m.

    You're right Cisco, the center did very little to influence a more settled situation.

  7. Gary Wien, June 17, 2016 at 8:54 a.m.

    I think the ref clearly believed he was bigger than the game last night. A perfect example is throwing out the coach at the end.

    Refs should pay attention to knock out phase games imo. A straight red should be 100% without a doubt in these situations. This was definitely not a clear-cut decision. Even the people here who agree admit it was "neglible" - for a knock ot imo.

  8. Kent James replied, June 17, 2016 at 12:04 p.m.

    I believe the ref threw out the coach because the coach threw a water bottle onto the field in disgust (and the ref was told this by the 4th official). While I did not see the coach do it on replay, a bottle was clearly thrown (maybe the 4th official got the wrong person, but certainly that kind of behavior deserves ejecting the bench personnel (or player) who does it. I think he also did not see Jones touch the players face, and was told (by the 4th official again); I think that's where the break down in justice occurred (the 4th says Jones hits the player in the face, but doesn't tell him how it may have been because they were shoving each other (though Jones did have a fist)). This is where it would be nice if they could use a replay to show that it was not the kind of thing the new rule was meant to stop.

  9. Albert Harris, June 17, 2016 at 9:09 a.m.

    Jones has always had impulse control issues and it's bit us in the butt again. Whether deserved under the rules or not, he put himself in the position for the ref to call it, so it's on him. "Defending your team" is bogus. Nobody was in danger of injury. Truly defending your team would have involved getting your players away from the scrum to avoid picking up a cheap card. Just one man's opinion.

  10. Wooden Ships replied, June 17, 2016 at 10:07 a.m.

    I ultimately agree with not putting yourself in that position. I also agree that it was negligible. If he wasn't carded I don't think the center would have been criticized. Lost an eye, hardly. Extended digits would have been more likely to damage an eye. Overall though, as a team, we still can mature some in our composure, bench area too.

  11. Gus Keri, June 17, 2016 at 9:10 a.m.

    The referee was right. The contact to the face was made "negligible" by the Ecuadorian player pushing Jones's hand away. If he didn't do that, he might have lost his eye. It was a stupid foul by Jones and he deserved to be red carded.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, June 18, 2016 at 2:26 a.m.

    I disagree. The fact that Jones's hand was pushed away indicates the lack of force on Jones's part.

  13. Roland Barral, June 17, 2016 at 9:11 a.m.

    Jones is clearly in the wrong, but objectively his touch to the face must be considered negligible. What are the red card appeal options? Even if converted to a yellow card, Jones would have to miss the next match due to yellow card accumulation.

  14. Kevin Sims, June 17, 2016 at 9:28 a.m.

    USA players have earned every card received. Grow up. Man up.

  15. Kelly Quinn, June 17, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.

    Cards are discretionary. Why was the center referee from Columbia? Why wasn't the center ref from Europe? There were multiple opportunities for yellow and red cards for Ecuador, however they seemed to not get them. The whole melee started when an Ecuadorian player tripped our player. Jones was not the only player in the mix, there were several players from both teams.

  16. Scott Johnson replied, June 17, 2016 at 12:42 p.m.

    Given that this is a CONCACAF/COMENBOL tournament, why would they bring in UEFA referees?

  17. Claus Fischer replied, June 20, 2016 at 9:29 p.m.

    I agree with Scott Johnson. It is good to have referees from the region/hemisphere who are well acquainted with the different temperaments and culture of play that are indeed different than what one finds in Europe. Never discount language. It is good to have match officials with the ability to grasp every spoken word (or most) by the players and their coaching staffs -- as well as fans. A Dutch, Belgian, Polish, or German referee might indeed be world class but completely out of their element in these Copa America matches.

  18. Josh Collins, June 17, 2016 at 10:29 a.m.

    Is there any appeal process available for the red? I concur both that Jones was harshly judged, and he was totally in the blame for having himself in the spot with the obvious increased policing of such incidents.
    Clubs and even internationals can appeal reds...is there any equivalent process in the Copa?

  19. Jim Ngo, June 17, 2016 at 11:11 a.m.

    Klinnsman is understandably disappointed but it's irrelevant if the 4th official is the one who advised the referee. That's how it works. They work as a team.

  20. Claus Fischer replied, June 20, 2016 at 9:20 p.m.

    Thank you. And usually (almost always) the Fourth Official has a long history of being the head or match official. It is not a designated position like the guy(s) in basketball who just manages the shot clock, timeout clock and game clock. Fourth Officials are often the match officials - even in the same tournament. The officials are also part of a guild, so to speak. They train together and interact at various points in their careers even when coming from different countries. I imagine that there is a lot of mutual respect one for another. So a Fourth Official making me aware of a player's misconduct? A match referee is going to listen to what the Fourth Official is stating.

  21. Charles Stamos, June 17, 2016 at 11:19 a.m.

    Unfortunately, when FIFA comes out with a mandate, if A happens do B, then refs have very little discretion to act with the appropriate penalty. The hand to the face for the third person in to an altercation requires a red card is just that. I twould be better to allow the fer to Refs have a more options when they can use their judgement to properly dole out punishment.

  22. Charles Stamos replied, June 17, 2016 at 11:22 a.m.

    example, if a player not involved in an altercation, causes an escalation he should be carded with a yellow or red card if deemed appropriate by the officials.

  23. Kent James replied, June 17, 2016 at 12:11 p.m.

    You are right; hard to blame the ref for the card (and Jones was stupid for putting himself in that position), but it does seem a bit unjust for an Ecuadorian player to blatantly kick our player after the ball is gone, then players get involved in a shoving match, and we end up with a red and they end up with a yellow; a more fair result would have been their player ejected (2nd yellow or straight red) and both Jones and the guy shoving him getting yellow (or even Jones getting a yellow by himself). This was not the blatant hand to the face fake consolation (intended as a provocation) that the new rule was designed (I hope anyway) to stop. I actually think the rule is generally a good idea, but this contact was pretty negligible.

  24. John Soares, June 17, 2016 at 1:42 p.m.

    Great game! Great win! Jones did an "idiot" thing, got caught and was justly punished/removed. Replays and the photo (related article) clearly show a fist to the face. No it was not a knock-out punch. But not acceptable at any level. Right call. It is too bad because Jones was having a VERY good tournament and will be missed.

  25. Ric Fonseca, June 17, 2016 at 1:49 p.m.

    Hey folks, woulda-coulda-shoulda, yada-yad. The rule is there so why quibble. HOWEVER, while I did not hear Joe Machnik's comments on the issue (I was watching the Spanish language broadcast) how many innumerable times have we seen players put a hand on the official, players from pratcially all playing national teams, and leagues, when a call is disputed, and yet, not a damned thing is done to those players!!!How many times have NOT heard of a player being disciplined for putting/laying a hand on a game official? As for the Ecuadorean coach getting ejected, yeah right!!! The dude stayed on the field behind a bench all the while another official of sorts just watched him and didn't do diddly!

  26. Amos Annan, June 17, 2016 at 2:37 p.m.

    It was NEGLIGIBLE... read the rule.

    Soccer is ridiculous how severe the punishment is for even slight issues and mistakes by referees.

  27. John Soares, June 17, 2016 at 3:15 p.m.

    Ric, I agree. Players get away with too much. You mention several, all correct incidents that deserve more "follow up".
    In this case (see picture in related article from SA) It was a left cross, fist closed. I would not think it negligible if it was my face and would bet there would be little argument if circumstances were reversed.

  28. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, June 17, 2016 at 4:04 p.m.

    He barely made contact, if at all. It was so negligible Arroyo didn't even flop or overreact like most players who'd actually been hit would.

  29. R2 Dad, June 17, 2016 at 4:47 p.m.

    "a player who, when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was negligible." The use of the phrase: "unless the force used was negligible" is the undoing of this new clause. Very difficult to estimate. So if the force is negligible, does that make it a yellow card?

  30. Bob Ashpole replied, June 18, 2016 at 2:16 a.m.

    This is not difficult. It is just a description of what should be considered "violent conduct." If there is no force, there is no violence.

  31. Bob Ashpole replied, June 18, 2016 at 2:22 a.m.

    I want to add that this is a good example of unnecessary explanations causing confusion where none existed previously.

  32. R2 Dad replied, June 18, 2016 at 12:51 p.m.

    I'm watching Iceland/Hungary and in the 40th minute a straight arm to the face with considerable force was deemed a yellow card only against Iceland. The new clause is for off-the-ball contact only, but is this fair to discriminate between the two types based on whether it's during the run of play vs. some afters?

  33. Richard Brown, June 18, 2016 at 9:53 a.m.

    Players should learn when an opponent does something they don't like to smile at them. Then thru the rest of the game to go for their angles when the officials turn and move away from the play. They won't get caught and the opponent my do something back after and get caught.

    Then the opponent learns when they see a player smile at them they better look out for him the rest of the game.

  34. Bob Ashpole replied, June 18, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

    I am always interested in hearing what you and other experienced coaches have to say about the physical side of the game. It is something that I have never had to deal with as a coach or player. The teams I played on and coached were physically superior and impossible to intimidate.

  35. Wooden Ships replied, June 18, 2016 at 1:48 p.m.

    Tit for tat did exist back in my day too Rick and yes a smile, a wink was understood by all. Some that tried ugly and/or dangerously intentional were handled within the run of play. It did make refereeing a little less high maintenance. Players understand what's cool and what isn't. And, a bruising game, with skilled players too, is sometimes what you face. Today, however, one must be more skilled at message sending with cameras. Suspensions follow if blatant.

  36. Wooden Ships replied, June 18, 2016 at 1:50 p.m.

    Richard, I should have said.

  37. Richard Brown, June 18, 2016 at 12:01 p.m.

    a lot of parents and even under 19s don't realize how physical the adult game can be.

    We played our under 19 against my adult team once a season in a friendly to get them used to the adult game.

    Also the captain really matters in the adult game. It can mean 2 or 3 more wins in a full season with a good captain,

  38. Michael Canny, June 19, 2016 at 8:06 a.m.

    The fourth official is just as much an official as the center referee. He has the authority to make such a call. It is the responsibility of the players to conduct themselves in accordance with the Laws of the Game. Instead of complaining about the call, Klinsman needs to discipline the player. Jones has the responsibility to control himself.

  39. Claus Fischer replied, June 20, 2016 at 9:24 p.m.

    Thank you, Mr. Canny. Well stated. Best comment on the page.

  40. James e Chandler replied, June 21, 2016 at 8:44 a.m.

    More succinctly, the 4th official is just as much a referee's assistant as the other assistant referees.
    Only one member of the officiating crew has a whistle, and displays a yellow or red card when a player is sanctioned for misconduct.
    This occurrence differs from a hand to the face during the run of play in that it was a "mass confrontation" as defined in the LOTG. When they occur, each member of the officiating crew has a defined role in managing the situation.
    The assistants provide information, but it's the referee's "call".
    Technically speaking, if any player leaves their position on the field to join a mass confrontation he's already guilty of misconduct, so anything they do at that point is at the referee's discretion.
    The only reason the referee doesn't card everyone is so there are enough players to continue.
    So it's not up to the referee to control the players, or the game for that matter. It's the players that choose to, and coaches that teach their players to deliberately violate the rules, and the basic concept of sportsmanship to gain an advantage who are responsible.
    Jermaine Jones conduct, both here, and when he repeatedly contacted an official because he thinks he should get a penalty when he kicks the ball into a defender's arm, is detrimental to not just this sport, but all sports.
    Instead of discrediting the official for sending Jones off, I wish Klinsmann had handed him a ticket home.
    Once players like Jones, and Dempsey adopt a sense of entitlement to their position, they weaken the entire process. No one's irreplaceable, and no one's bigger than the game.
    One reason we love Messi is his understanding of that.

  41. Richard Brown, June 19, 2016 at 8:54 a.m.

    Yes, Michael he should, but will he? I think he does not try to cover all the bases. Sampson was made a laughing stock with his team for making a small coaching point with one of the members of his team in practice.

    The player did not open up his body position when he received a pass from a player from a congested side of the field. So he passed back into the congested space. Instead of playing into less congested space in practice.

    They mocked him for making that point. I would have said if it is obvious then why didn't he do it?

    What I did not like about Sampson was he tried to be a father figure to his players like if they were kids. He should of treated them like men because they are men and professionals. I think he has been doing that for years since his players were kids and because he is tall.

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