Major League Soccer officials fixing matches?August 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2012 | 6 Comments
I was on the train on my way to Seattle to watch that day’s match when I received a text which said that Barry Robson of the Vancouver Whitecaps had been suspended for the game. It turned out he had been suspended for “aggravated dissent” when he allegedly kicked a ball at a linesman in Wednesday’s match against FC Dallas.
In the first place, I was at that match and saw the incident. Robson did kick the ball away in anger, and received a yellow card as would be expected, and as was deserved. What I did not see was him kick the ball at the linesman. Had he done so, the linesman would have waved his flag (which he didn’t) and the referee would have consulted with the linesman and sent Robson off.
The Major League Soccer disciplinary committee decided to second guess the match officials and suspended Robson the night before a very important derby match, which was played less than 24 hours later. We fans had no idea what had happened until we were on our way to the pitch the next day.
Whether they knew it or not, the MLS officials effectively fixed the match against us, taking our most important player off of the pitch less than 24 hours before kickoff, disrupting the match plan for the Whitecaps.
This is further proof that the MLS and its officials (including referees) are lagging far behind the knowledge of their own fans. There is a huge credibility gap in MLS officiating generally.
If it was the intention of MLS officials to second guess the match referee and linesman, they should have given the club and its fans more notice, and, given the lateness of their call, should have let Robson play in Seattle and banned him for the next match next weekend against Portland.
As Canadian Soccer fans, we are used to soccer officials making bad calls against us, and this kind of call put our team at an unfair advantage. I wonder if the officials were Norwegian… We really deserve more respect than this.
MLS should take the fans point of view into account. I was looking forward to a good football match on Saturday, but ended up watching a poor one because of the absence of a key player.
The match was effectively fixed by MLS in the Seattle Sounder’s favour, and all fans attending were robbed of the opportunity to see a good football match.