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Dirty Tackle

Canadian referee Joe Fletcher has smooth reaction after handshake snub

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We’ve all been there. (But some of us are too proud to admit it.) You’re eager to shake someone’s hand or fist pound them, but that person gives you the cold shoulder. He or she either purposely leaves you hanging, or inadvertently ignores your request for a dap or handshake.

Luckily for you, there’s probably not a camera around when the disrespect goes down. Unluckily for Joe Fletcher, his moment of embarrassment happened with the world watching and inevitably went viral in no time. Prior to Wednesday’s Chile vs. Spain World Cup match, a well-dressed man (who appeared to be a FIFA official) shook hands with captains of the Chilean and Spanish teams.

After the man exchanged pleasantries with Spanish captain Iker Casillas, Fletcher thought it was his turn. It wasn’t. But the Canadian referee handled the perceived slight with class, pretending to run his fingers through his hair instead. One problem: Fletcher is as bald as bald can be.

(h/t Ryan Fagan)

The assistant referee did well to play it off, and the men on either side of him — Casillas and a referee colleague — laughed with him, not at him. Casillas even gave him the old “I’ve been there, man, hang in there” pat on the back.

[Photos: Spain eliminated after shutout loss to Chile]

Not to be denied, Fletcher eventually got his desired handshake and looked like a kid who just got the bike he always wanted for his birthday. Eyes lit up and smiling from ear to ear (please allow the slight exaggeration), Fletcher eventually made amends. All’s well that ends well.

If the great Lionel Messi is the key player in Snubgate, Fletcher is the centerpiece of Snubgate 2.0. Here’s to hoping more great ref moments happen during this World Cup.

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