Americans handed win

Officiating has not been completely fair so far in the London 2012 Olympics.

I am not saying Team Canada’s women’s soccer team is better than the U.S. women’s soccer team, and I am not saying the U.S. would not have won the match in some other way without the officials going completely off the rails.

I am saying the officiating was abysmal, and apallingly one-sided, from start to finish in the semi-final match that the Americans won in extra time to move into the gold medal game.

The ridiculous award of a free kick inside the box for goalkeeper delay was virtually unprecedented.

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, who is paid to pay attention to high level soccer, devoted an entire paragraph of his post game write up explaining that the call was a lifetime first for him. He never, watching thousands of games as he makes his living, had seen such a call.

It was as if the referee was saying to herself, “I keep giving these U.S. girls positional advantages and they are still behind after 80 minutes. What more can I do. Oh, wait, I can do this. Award a free kick right inside the box for something every goalkeeper ahead in a game does all the time.

From that range, the ball is likely to tick a hand somewhere, then I can award a penalty kick that can be taken by one of the most prolific scorers in history. That should do it.”

I was actually surprised the Canadians came that close. After five minutes, with two egregiously bad calls already in the books (a corner kick and a throw-in to the U.S. that were obvious, “mistakes,”) I was mumbling, “No way Canada can win this game.”

The officiating, which allowed rough play for both sides to go unchallenged and uncontrolled throughout, settled in to a, “give the Americans the benefit of the doubt,” pattern which was maintained to the end.

Bad enough a blatant handball in the U.S. box, which would have given Christine Sinclair a penalty kick at her fourth goal, was ignored. Worse that a less than blatant one (ball to hand, not hand to ball) was then called to set up Abby Wambach, Sinclair’s U.S. scoring rival, to tie the game, less than five minutes later.

It is easy to agree with Sinclair’s take that, “The result was decided before the match was played.”

Canada, exhausted and dispirited, pretty much lucked into the bronze medal, but will take it.

Meanwile, FIFA, an organization so corrupt it rivals the IOC (It, for instance, knew about two top officials accepting kickbacks for the award of FIFA contracts but took no action because in some civil jurisdictions bribery is, “not illegal,”  intends to punish the Canadians for stating what seem obvious, a U.S. appearance in the, “dream final,” (whose dreams, money people’s) was, “a culmination devoutly to be  wished.”

So, they are in it, kicking off in minutes as I write this. NBC, the IOC and FIFA will be smiling proudly throughout.

One final thought. Among the violations unpunished were several stomps on Sinclair’s dicey right foot by Americans emphatically, “Leaving the foot in.”

Sinclair is apparently not someone who you should annoy like that, given her dominating status at both ends of the pitch. Too bad she didn’t get the big stage of the gold medal final so the world could see how good she is.

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read