Well for those of you watching the intense battle between Team Canada and Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics, you may not be surprised with this news. FIFA has handed Christine Sinclair a four game suspension for “displaying unsporting behaviour towards match officials.”
“We feel like we didn’t lose, we feel like it was taken from us,” Sinclair said moments after the final whistle. “It’s a shame in a game like that that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started.”
Sinclair had just scored three goals to bring Canada into the lead when a questionable call towards goaltender Erin McLeod was called by Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen who was later relieved of her duties by FIFA.
“It’s hard to swallow. And yeah, I’ve never seen that call in my entire career,” McLeod said of the call. “But I had [the ball] more than six seconds and the referees have to make those decisions, and we have to respect them as difficult as that can be, as emotional as that can be sometimes.”
Despite Sinclair breaking rules and showing unsportsmanlike conduct, it was the most unreal turn of events I have witnessed in a Soccer match since Zidane headbutted Materazzi during the 2006 Fifa World Cup.
Well you know what they say…There is always next time! At only 29 years old, Sinclair plans to play when the World Cup comes to Canada in 2015 and when the Olympic Summer Games go to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Nothing but pride for Sinclair and although not surprised by FIFA’s decision, I for one strongly disagree with the punishment. It’s time for video replay in the sport and no matter how many referees you bring in to ensure quality control, its clear it is not working out. Perhaps FIFA likes the attention and controversy but at who’s expense? This time it was ours!