Catching Sepp Blatter in an apologetic mood is about as rare as catching Lindsay Lohan sober, but the FIFA president has extended the olive branch to the football federations of England and Mexico for the mistakes of referees in the round of 16.
Hoping that apologetic lightning will strike twice, incensed Paraguay manager Gerardo Martino has said that he expects football's governing body to say sorry for officiating decisions that went against the South Americans in Saturday night's quarterfinal match with Spain.
Martino – who is actually Argentinean – is angry about two incidents: Nelson Valdez's first-half strike that was incorrectly ruled offside, and the way in which David Villa went down for Spain's penalty (presumably he thought the weight of the Barcelona star's sexy soul patch had more influence on the fall than Antolin Alcaraz's tackle). AFP reports:
"I should say that some decisions could have changed the course of the match." said Martino.
"There was the first half goal scored by Valdez and also the penalty. Perhaps there was a foul but then perhaps he should have been sent off.
"Maybe FIFA will apologise tomorrow for that, say thank you to FIFA for apologising to us."
It seems unlikely that FIFA would have anything to say about the incidents, which hardly register on the World-Cup-bad-referee-decision-o-meter, but perhaps Martino should instead seek an apology from striker Oscar Cardozo, who could have put the Paraguayans ahead and changed the game if he had converted his first-half spot kick.
- Gerardo Martino
- Lindsay Lohan
- Nelson Valdez
- Sepp Blatter