Blanco, Top Ref Under Investigation?

Blanco, Top Ref Under Investigation?

  • 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.

  • Ken

    This is a potential powderkeg with a short fuse. I can't believe Jair Marrufo — whom I consider one of the better officials in the entire league — would allow himself to fall into this kind of trap. I'm not about to compare him to Tim Donaghy, but this is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of a number of soccer fans and officials in this country, as well as myself.

  • Ken

    This is a potential powderkeg with a short fuse. I can’t believe Jair Marrufo — whom I consider one of the better officials in the entire league — would allow himself to fall into this kind of trap. I’m not about to compare him to Tim Donaghy, but this is going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of a number of soccer fans and officials in this country, as well as myself.

  • Kaiser

    Ken,<br />
    I have to disagree with your assessment of Marrufo. He has got to be one of the worst refs in the league! His calls are inconsistant, and I don't even think he knows what a red card really is. I watched the CHI-COL game and after hearing about this &quot;scandal&quot; I don't think much of the theory that the game was fixed. I just think it was a horrible call by a horrible ref (who is known for them). I agree with drew that Blanco was probably just trying to be friendly…maybe a thank you, cause even Blanco knew that wasn't a red card.

  • djking2

    It's kind of ridiculous to think a highly regarded ref would take a game worn jersey to fix a match don't ya think. More likely interpretation of the events is that Blanco offered up his jersey after the game as an apology for going off on him at the half.

  • Kaiser

    Ken,
    I have to disagree with your assessment of Marrufo. He has got to be one of the worst refs in the league! His calls are inconsistant, and I don’t even think he knows what a red card really is. I watched the CHI-COL game and after hearing about this “scandal” I don’t think much of the theory that the game was fixed. I just think it was a horrible call by a horrible ref (who is known for them). I agree with drew that Blanco was probably just trying to be friendly…maybe a thank you, cause even Blanco knew that wasn’t a red card.

  • djking2

    It’s kind of ridiculous to think a highly regarded ref would take a game worn jersey to fix a match don’t ya think. More likely interpretation of the events is that Blanco offered up his jersey after the game as an apology for going off on him at the half.

  • Cannon Girl

    Skippy!!!!! LOL—where ya been?

  • Cannon Girl

    Skippy!!!!! LOL—where ya been?

  • Kaiser

    I have been busy praying for a win to bring an end to all the ties for the Galaxy…they need a win bad. I will be out at the HDC rooting them on against the Energy Drinks!

  • Kaiser

    I have been busy praying for a win to bring an end to all the ties for the Galaxy…they need a win bad. I will be out at the HDC rooting them on against the Energy Drinks!

  • Cannon Girl

    I hear ya Skip…they defeated my boys last night but I'm feeling pretty positive about Saturday's game against Chivas. Hope you're still not planning on booing Becks when he returns 'cause your boys really need him now. Heck, with all our injured players MY team could use him now too—OOPS…did I just say that? Don't stress about ties…I'll take them any day over losses—WHO-HOOOO—GO QUAKES!!! 😉 🙂 🙂

  • Cannon Girl

    I hear ya Skip…they defeated my boys last night but I’m feeling pretty positive about Saturday’s game against Chivas. Hope you’re still not planning on booing Becks when he returns ’cause your boys really need him now. Heck, with all our injured players MY team could use him now too—OOPS…did I just say that? Don’t stress about ties…I’ll take them any day over losses—WHO-HOOOO—GO QUAKES!!! 😉 🙂 🙂