Dan: The outrage over that phantom foul call in the U.S.-Slovenia match is wholly justified. What a miserable piece of officiating. Thankfully, it sounds as if FIFA (soccer’s global governing body, which runs the World Cup) is taking swift action against the referee. From Martin Rogers at Yahoo! Sports:
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.
FIFA’s refereeing committee will review footage from the Group C clash on Saturday to evaluate Coulibaly’s performance after several USA players complained about the way he had struggled to control a fiercely contested match.
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.”