Colombia player accuses controversial U.S. referee of bias toward England after World Cup loss
Colombia forward Radamel Falcao was furious after his side was eliminated from the World Cup Tuesday and blunt in handing out accusations of officiating bias in the loss to England.
The game was thrilling, but marred by fouls and yellow cards. Colombia was cited for 23 of the 36 fouls called and six of the eight yellow cards handed out. England eventually won on the last kick of a penalty shootout after the teams were tied at 1-1 after 30 minutes of extra time.
Falcao: ‘Peculiar’ a U.S. referee was chosen to officiate game
Falcao, on the receiving end of a yellow card, accused U.S. referee Mark Geiger of bias when speaking with reporters and questioned why he was allowed to officiate the game in the first place.
“I found it peculiar that they put an American referee in this instance,” Falcao said. “To tell you the truth, the process leaves a lot of doubts. He only spoke English, some bias was certain. Through small calls, he was pushing us [toward] our goal, that was clear for me.”
England scored its only regulation goal on a second-half penalty kick by Harry Kane who was clearly fouled on the preceding play.
But Geiger frequently found himself on the receiving end of protesting players, a trend that did not stop when the game was over.
“The referee disturbed us a lot, in the 50-50 plays, he always made the calls in favor of England,” Falcao said. “This situation was undermining us. He didn’t act with the same criteria for both teams.
“When in doubt he always went to the England side. It’s shameful that this happens in the round of 16 of a World Cup.”
Colombia coach not happy with fouls
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman was more diplomatic, but not shy to comment about the bevy of fouls in the game.
“When there are so, so many fouls and interruptions I think that’s not good,” Pekerman said. “We shouldn’t only look at Colombian players. We should also look at England players.”
Geiger’s been accused before
Geiger is no stranger to controversy in this World Cup or otherwise. FIFA was compelled to release a statement after a Morocco player accused the referee from New Jersey of asking Cristiano Ronaldo for a Portugal jersey during a game in group play.
FIFA statement related to media reports about FIFA Referee Mark Geiger @FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/SZ6QHMfyPq
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 21, 2018
Geiger has poor reputation with U.S. soccer fans
Geiger is also notorious among MLS fans and some soccer media, many of whom took to Twitter in solidarity with World Cup viewers on Tuesday.
Love how the rest of the world has finally gotten the full MLS experience of not understanding video review and hating Mark Geiger
— ian (@ahandleforian) July 3, 2018
So what is @FIFAcom going to do about Mark Geiger?
He is a terrible referee, has always been, and will always be.
— Mónica (@mtequia87) July 3, 2018
Mark Geiger is going to end up VAR-ing the entire game and then sending everyone off, including himself.
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) July 3, 2018
Watching the world be introduced to Mark Geiger is like sending my grown illiterate son to a college he didn’t get into.
— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) July 3, 2018
Mark Geiger is the worst referee I have ever seen at a #worldcup. Was memorably awful 4 years ago. Has been a DISASTER as a VAR this tournament. He is weak and has bottled the biggest decision he’ll ever make. It’s a RED for violent conduct. #COLENG
— Angus Scott (@AngusScott) July 3, 2018
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