Source: FIFA may sit Slovenia-U.S. referee - International Football - Yahoo! Sports
JOHANNESBURG – The referee who disallowed a potential game-winning goal for the United States will face an expedited performance review from FIFA and is likely to be excluded from the rest of the World Cup, according to a FIFA source.
Koman Coulibaly from Mali disallowed Maurice Edu’s 86th-minute strike that would have given the USA a 3-2 lead over Slovenia at Ellis Park and likely would have led to a thrilling comeback victory Friday. Coulibaly appeared to rule that American midfielder Michael Bradley had impeded a Slovenian defender, even though video replays showed no infringement.
Every World Cup match is viewed live by an on-site assessor who monitors the referee’s performance. However, in this case, a deeper assessment will take place at the earliest possible opportunity. That this is happening so quickly suggests FIFA is taking the complaints about Coulibaly seriously and is likely to leave him unassigned to referee further matches, according to the source. He could still appear as a line judge or other supporting role.
“If he is found to have made a serious mistake, especially one that affected the outcome, then he would be highly unlikely to play any further part in the tournament,” said the source, who is close to senior figures on the refereeing panel. “FIFA is determined to keep refereeing standards high and does not want high-profile mistakes.”
Coulibaly came under heavy criticism from the U.S. team and head coach Bob Bradley, but it was not just the Edu no-goal that will come under scrutiny.
Assessors also are likely to be concerned at the highly physical nature of the match. American striker Jozy Altidore was repeatedly involved in tussles with the Slovenian defense, and an ugly incident took place midway through the second half when Slovenia’s Marko Suler appeared to throw Altidore to the ground. Coulibaly issued Suler a yellow card, but the strong infraction was enough for a red card and an ejection.
FIFA chooses its referees and assistants for each game from a list of elite officials specially selected for the tournament. They are evaluated before the World Cup to ensure that they meet standards of fitness and knowledge.
Coulibaly’s mistake will only increase calls for the introduction of instant replay for controversial decisions, something FIFA has strongly resisted up to this point.
“It is up to FIFA for what they do about him,” USA star Clint Dempsey said. “But it wasn’t just the goal. They were holding and pushing and grabbing and putting themselves in there. What are you supposed to do?”