Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4/28/09: Pathetic Divers Deserve All The Abuse In The World. Blanco and Marrufo Under Investigation For Cheating Crew Out Of First Win.

Marrufo accepted jersey gift from Blanco after the game in response to Marrufo's generous call. (Full Mitchell Story Below Video). A generous call that left Gino Padula with a red card when he barely even touched Blanco. However, Blanco went down in agony on the ground for five minutes. Afterwards, the crowd of nearly 17,000 booed Blanco deservedly on every touch and in both corners threw cups at the disgraceful diver. I thought that the cups were unnecessary. But, looking at the pathetic dive on the replay of FSC I think if anyone deserved it ever, it was Blanco. If there is any matchfixing to go along with this between Marrufo and Blanco he deserves much more. Pathetic, talentless, no necked toolbag.

A second and third replay from FSC, not shown in Quick Kicks show that Padula just had his leg out to go for the ball. Blanco basically brushed up against his leg and then fell down as if a bullet hit him. Gino Padula had no infractions or tackles previously in the game and this play would have been generous to award a yellow card, without Blanco's masterful acting and screaming.

From Shawn Mitchell's, Soccer Officials Investigating Referee, Fire Star
A top American soccer referee and one of Major League Soccer's biggest stars 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.

Multiple witnesses reported seeing 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.

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."

Marrufo's Mexican father was a former FIFA referee. Blanco is an icon in Mexico, where he starred for the national team and in the country's professional league.

"We are speaking to all the relevant parties, including the referee crew and both teams to review the situation," U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said.

U.S. Soccer provides referees to MLS. Marrufo is considered one of the best after being named the 2008 MLS referee of the year. He was one of four referees hired full-time by the federation in 2007 in an effort to increase the quality of officiating in the U.S. and is a candidate to referee in the 2010 World Cup.

"We are aware of the issue and are working closely with U.S. Soccer and their review of the matter," MLS executive vice president Todd Durbin said in a statement e-mailed to The Dispatch.

A Fire spokesperson referred all questions concerning the matter to MLS and U.S. Soccer.

Bye bye 2010 World Cup for Marrufo. That is pleasing enough in my book. Also, would be huge to have Gino Padula back for TFC.


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