Fri, September 20, 2013

Sinclair stands by comments on Norwegian ref

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


Christine Sinclair, the captain of Canada's women's soccer team, speaks at a press conference in London on August 10, 2012. (AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY)


LONDON - Canada's Christine Sinclair doesn't back down on the pitch.

So you wouldn't expect her to back down off it.

The captain of Canada's bronze-medal winning soccer team wasn't stepping back from her comments critical of the officiating after Monday night's controversial semifinal against the United States.

"It's an emotional game. We just lost a chance for a gold medal and for some of us that was a childhood dream, gone. We felt it was a little unfair at times," she said Friday.

"The Americans got the calls that game. It's a funny sport. The next time we play them, we might get those calls. It's frustrating that it happened in the Olympics in a game of that magnitude."

FIFA is "analyzing" what went on after the game, but no action was taken before Canada played France in the bronze medal game. When told people thought she would be suspended, Sinclair said she wasn't worried.

"Some of the things that were said to the media, if they were going to suspend myself or Melissa Tancredi, then they would have had to suspend our whole team, you know? We were frustrated and mad. We refused to just be okay with it. We wanted to say things because that's how we felt."

Did she still stand by her comments?

"Yeah."

Teammate Diana Matheson, who scored the winner against France Thursday, said Sinclair's speaking up is another example of how she is continuing to grow into her leadership role.

"She's always been the kind of lead by example player. The last year or two she has grown even more into the role and she's become a bit more vocal in the locker room and reaching out to players and connecting more. She's done a fantastic job," said Matheson. "On the field, she's been the best player in the world the last couple of years and it's fantastic that she got a showcase in front of everybody here.

"She is quiet a lot of times. She's got a pretty sarcastic, wry sense of humour she gets from the rest of her family. She's pretty quick with a comment. I think she has to censor herself sometimes for the cameras."

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson