Fri, September 20, 2013

Norwegian ref done for Olympic soccer tourney

By QMI Agency


Norwegian ref Christiana Pedersen, whose controversial officiating was costly for Canada in the semifinal, has not been selected to work in the gold or bronze medal games. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS


It is a little late for Canada’s tastes but Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen was not selected to be part of the crews for Thursday’s final between the U.S., and Japan or the bronze-medal match between Canada and France.

Pedersen was the target of a verbal barrage from Canadian players after a 4-3 semifinal loss to the Americans on Monday. Pedersen called delay of game against Canadian keeper Erin McLeod, which led to a hand ball in the area and a penalty goal for American Abby Wambach, who tied the game at 3-3 in the second half. Alex Morgan won the game for the Americans by scoring on a header with 30 seconds left in extra time.

Captain Christine Sinclair suggested the outcome had been determined before the opening kickoff and other Canadians suggested the referee gave the game to the Americans.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams brushed off questions about the FIFA investigation into comments made by the Canadians.

“These things happen in football matches, as in all other sports,” Adams said. “FIFA will make an inquiry; we don’t know when that will conclude. It is really a matter for them to say. To be honest, it is a refereeing issue and FIFA will look into it.”