- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 28, 2009
- 12 Comments
- Cuauhtemoc Blanco
Talk about a headline that could go badly for the league. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a top referee and MLS star are being investigated by the United States Soccer Federation and the league for their conduct during the Crew’s 2-2 tie with the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
According to the Dispatch’s sources, various witnesses saw Fire star Cuauhtmoc Blanco broach the entrance to the referees’ locker room following the game with a Fire jersey in his hand. He reportedly tossed the jersey into the room occupied by Jair Marrufo and his assistant referees.
I’ve been around lockerrooms in this league, you just don’t see stuff like that very often if ever.
Blanco was seen chatting with Marrufo before the game and witnesses said he later yelled at the referee and his crew outside the locker rooms at halftime.
Marrufo issued a controversial red card to Crew defender Gino Padula for a foul on Blanco in the second half. It was Padula’s first foul of the game.
The Crew led 2-0 before Padula’s ejection but allowed two goals late in the game while it played at a man disadvantage.
The Crew is appealing the automatic fine and one-game suspension of Padula, citing inconsistencies in Marrufo’s calls and his alleged acceptance of Blanco’s gift. It filed a report with MLS that cited the pregame, halftime and postgame incidents involving Marrufo and Blanco.
Players often give away their jerseys after games to fans and opposing players. but Ohio state referee administrator Ken Baldoesingh said “all referees know they are not supposed to accept gifts from anyone.”
Wow. I don’t want to throw the phrase match fixing out but you just never know. More than likely it was Blanco just being friendly with an official who’s father was a Mexican referee. Still doing something like that after a game is still a bit sketchy.