The fallout from the Olympics will continue on Friday, nearly two months after the United States women were crowned gold medalists for the third-consecutive Olympic Games.
Canada captain Christine Sinclair is set for a hearing with the FIFA disciplinary committee following her controversial comments after Canada’s dramatic 4-3 loss to the U.S. in the semifinal.
Just how utterly silly is this? Sinclair could be fined or suspended for a game? Look, things got ugly during and after that semifinal match, but I’ve heard more offensive trash-talking from U-12 players at the local park. Let’s revisit what Sinclair said:
“We feel like we didn’t lose, we feel like it was taken from us. It’s a shame in a game like that, which is so important, that the ref decided the result before the game started.”
From what we know, Sinclair is the only one under fire from FIFA. Head coach John Herdman was just as outspoken following the match:
“The ref, she will have to sleep in bed tonight after watching the replays,” Herdman said. “She’s gonna have to live with that. We will move on from this. I wonder if she will be able to.”
Now, Sinclair did add a nice zinger when she said, “Maybe the referee will wear a Canadian jersey for this game,” in reference to the bronze medal match.
But forget all the posturing. Let’s get to the real point: Why all this drama about launching an investigation and now having a hearing? The case has already been heard in the media. Those quotes are all over websites throughout the U.S. and Canada. Why is this being dragged on by FIFA?
Either hand out some sort of punishment or don’t, but don’t elongate the process with hearings over comments you could read with a quick Google search and a phone call confirmation. What is to gain from this? Will she be banned from a meaningless friendly over two years prior to the next major competition? If FIFA were serious about punishing her it would have withheld her from the bronze medal game (and to be clear, that would have been overboard to do).
If there is anything that may require an investigation, it is Carli Lloyd’s head being stepped on by Canada’s Melissa Tancredi. (And I think Tancredi has a case that it wasn’t intentional, but it’s a very tough argument. Check out video here, before it disappears by the end of 2012 due to IOC rights.)
At the end of the day, the USA-Canada Olympic semifinal will go down as one of the most epic games in women’s soccer and all of Olympic soccer history. It was drama at its finest and controversy at its utmost. Canada has good reason to feel wronged. But I’m ready for the next time these two teams meet — imagine that at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
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