Conveniently Ignores Referee Koman Coulibaly Mistake

June 18, 2010 - 06054471 date 18 06 2010 Copyright imago Fotoarena Herculez Gomez Segura Jozy Altidore Que Do Koman Koulibaly  Entre X  Pelo Copa Do Mundo no A Ellis Park Stage GA   frica Do Sul 18 06 2010 X 134 xrodolfoxbuhrerx xLaxImagemx PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA 915 X Johannesburg Football men World Cup National team international match Action shot Vdig xub 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

Visit FIFA’s official website to watch the highlights of the World Cup game between Slovenia and the United States today, and you’ll see that in the two minute highlight video, FIFA shows exactly zero seconds of the controversial free kick incident when Maurice Edu scored but the goal was disallowed by referee Koman Coulibaly.

FIFA’s decision to exclude the incident from the highlight video is appalling. FIFA included several highlights from the game but the biggest talking point was conveniently ignored. If you’re FIFA, why draw more attention to the horrible decision by Coulibaly? But, at the same time, by excluding the incident from their video clip, it only draws more attention to the incident and makes it look like FIFA is trying to pretend it never happened.

In the 432-word match summary of the Slovenia against United States game on the website, only one sentence is focused on the controversial decision by Coulibaly. It reads “The Americans might even have won the game only for referee Koman Coulibaly to rule out a goal from Maurice Edu, who volleyed home Donovan’s free-kick from the right.” The way it’s written, it sounds like no big deal. Shucks, if only Coulibaly hadn’t just ruled the goal out. That’s incredulous.

And in the other report of the game on the FIFA website, the 492 word article also only contains one sentence about the incident, which reads “And had Edu not had a goal ruled out four minutes from time, Bradley’s adjustments would have paid even more handsome dividends.” So much for a thorough analysis of the incident.

One last point. If you view the photo slideshow of the Slovenia against United States on the website, you’ll notice there is not one image of the controversial free kick incident. This is absolutely ridiculous.

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About Christopher Harris

Publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris founded the site in 2005. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who was born and raised in Wales, has lived in Florida since 1984, and supported Swansea City since 1979. Last but not least, he got engaged during half-time of a MLS game.
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41 Responses to Conveniently Ignores Referee Koman Coulibaly Mistake

  1. Walt says:

    After the game, Sepp Blatter posted a link on Twitter to pictures of him meeting with the Slovenian president right before the game and they sat together during the game. Not saying anything, just thought it was funny

  2. jose says:

    come monday he will be kicked out the world cup. bastard.

  3. Rob says:

    Geez dude, you want some cheese with that wine? Since when have refs been perfect? The articles aren’t supposed to be post-mortems of the game anyways. They only get 500 words to describe the entire match which is 90+ minutes.

    It’s not as if the USMNT were angels in the game either. This was a rough game where there were plenty of fouls that should have seen red cards on both teams.

  4. Seminole Gunner says:

    I agree that this makes things look even worse. The disallowed goal is one of the biggest stories of this World Cup so far, any attempts to brush it aside just make it seem that FIFA has something to hide.

  5. MikeInTN says:

    Fine example of FIFA’s “Fair Play” campaign. Somewhere at sometime in a crucial match…expect to see the ‘USA Special” applied. This guy was either on the take, biased against the US or just plain incompetent. What’s worse is the incompetence of FIFA to not do something about it. Reminds of the the Frings handball in the box that would have drawn us level in 2002. The ‘Special’ is always just around the corner waiting for us in a crucial match.

    • sergio lima says:

      The fair play campaign has nothing to do with officiating. Please.

      • Kevin_Amold says:

        I think it does. It has to do with player treatment of referees, and it SHOULD have something to do with officials treating players with respect. That includes refereeing to the highest possible standard, and explaining controversial calls and being held accountable. In my opinion at least.

  6. Hermann says:

    This is why In American and Canadian football, instant replay is a method of reviewing a play using cameras at various angles to determine the accuracy of the initial call of the officials. An instant replay can take place in the event of a close or otherwise controversial call, either at the request of a team’s head coach (with limitations) or the officials themselves.

    There are restrictions on what types of plays can be reviewed. In general, most penalty calls or lack thereof cannot be reviewed, nor can a play that is whistled dead by the officials before the play could come to its rightful end. Examples of plays that cannot be reviewed – even if replays would show an incorrect call was made – include a quarterback fumble recovered by the defensive team that is ruled an incomplete pass and thus whistled dead, or a player ruled downed or out of bounds when in fact he was not.

    American and Canadian football leagues vary in their application and use of instant replay review.

    • Bobby Brandon says:

      I’m not certain there’s a way to apply replay. The beauty of the game comes largely from that fact that there’s one universal code, one set of rules for everyone — except US colleges, but don’t get me started on that.

      If you were to apply replay in one place, you’d have to apply it everywhere and while it’s easy for FIFA to bring it to the World Cup, and Barcelona to install facilities at the Camp Nou, Arsenal at Ashburton Grove, the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park, ect., it isn’t easy for a team like Folkestone Invicta to do so at Cheriton Road, or Eleven Men In Flight to install it at their ground in Swaziland.

      I’m not totally against the introduction of video replay, in fact I find it somewhat noble in small measures, but I don’t see how it can theoretically be introduced without creating financial issues for smaller teams and leagues.

      • Shaky Isles says:

        “If you were to apply replay in one place, you’d have to apply it everywhere”

        I don’t see why. In other codes (eg rugby), grassroots games that aren’t televised don’t require video refs – only the games that are televised.

        Soccer is so very low scoring that a poor call very often means an unfair loss. It really does need a video ref. It also needs the ability to cite and punish players after the match for dirty things like dives that the ref didn’t pick up. Really, FIFA, you need to clean things up.

        The ref in the NZ-Italy game was ridiculous – he seemed starstruck by the Italians. I sympathise with the frustration of the Americans.

  7. Bobby says:

    I don’t think he was on the take or against the US, he’s just an incompetent buffoon that has no business officiating pub league football let alone World Cup matches.

  8. WTF? says:

    Stop whining about all this Seriously, everyone here thinks that the entire Fifa is out to screw us. It’s not like we’re Spain or Brazil or anything. We lost and that’s that. Slovenia was hella of a lot better in the first half and we reacted too late. Just move on. It’s not like we’re going to win the WC anyways….

  9. susan from Plano, TX says:

    GET OVER IT AMERICA!!! Edu was offsides and the ref made the right call!

    • Shaun from milwaukee says:

      Uhhh.. Susan you must not be a soccer fan. For one, Edu wasn’t even close to offsides. You clearly don’t understand the rule. You are only offsides if you were in an offsides position when the ball was kicked. It doesn’t matter if you move into an offsides position after that. Edu was clearly onsides when the ball was kicked.

      I also find it laughable that you said he made the right call because he was offsides. The call wasn’t even offsides! He called a foul on Edu. During the game the players didn’t know this but it was noted after the match was completed. So maybe you should check your facts before commenting on something you clearly know nothing about

      • Keith says:


        To quote you, “you must not be a soccer fan!”
        Or you’re the typical American soccer parent who fancies himself as a fan & a coach, you probably even have the word “coach” screen printed on the front of your “coaching” shirt.

        THERE is NO OFFSIDES in soccer, you gave Susan a lashing about being ignorant about the rules & then went on & displayed your ignorance 5 times in your 1st paragraph alone! I don’t know who is more pathetic, you or her.

        Read my reply to Susan from Plano…
        OFFSIDES is a 5 yard penalty in AMERICAN FOOTBALL & doesn’t exist in World football (soccer).

        I hope your “little Billy” gets a nice big participation medal during next year’s AYSO season & you wear your lungs out screaming at your team to KICK IT!!! KICK IT!!!!

        • CBNuttree says:

          There IS offside in Soccer dip.

          Official international rules. Now you sound like a moron.

          • Keith says:

            Hey CBNuttree –

            Your showing the numbness level of your skull. You’re backing Susan… lol … lol …

            What do you call someone who pulls out the ‘moron’ card yet DOESN’T know what he is talking about…
            Or are you Susan’s INSIGNIFICANT other?

            I’ll type this slowly for you, “There is NO offisdeS in soccer!!!” Can you understand? That is an American Football infraction.

            Read my post again & look at the link you posted & tell me the difference between the two, if you are capable.

            A player is an offisde position he is NOT offsideS.

            And people who use the “offsideS” term show their ignorance of soccer, which is ok, IF they are willing to learn & adapt.

            Sadly, the USA is out, therefore, you can go back to wasting your life doing whatever it is you do.

            I may be a moron, but, since you don’t know what you’re talking about & can’t even understand an article you post to prove your point, (LOL) what does that make you? An Ubermoron?

            What do you call a moron’s understudy?
            Answer: CBNuttree.

            Have a nice DECAY!

    • SusanSaRetard says:

      Ur retarded Susan.

    • Keith says:

      To Susan, the simpleton, from Plano, TX.

      I HATE to call out a woman (if in fact you are one & not a “Boy Named Sue”), but in this day of ‘equality’, your asinine comment deserves a kick in the teeth.

      1st of all there is no such thing as “offsides” in world football (soccer). IF you are gonna attempt to follow a sport & then make public comments about it, LEARN the Laws of the game & the terminology, so you don’t sound like a dozy mare!
      “Offsides” is a 5 yard penalty in American football. So the ref couldn’t have possibly made that call…or did you see a yellow flag on the pitch?

      IF you’re trying to say Edu was in an offside position, which in itself is ludicrous & further proof you haven’t a clue, where was the assistant ref’s (linesman’s) FLAG? He didn’t raise it… not that the ref couldn’t make that call on his own, but he didn’t & all you had to do was see the replay, offside was NOT an issue & here is a report for you from another news agency “Coulibaly appeared to rule that an American attacker had impeded a Slovenian defender, even though video replays showed no definitive infringement.” So, once again, you’re off your rocker, with either your “offsides” or “offside” comment.

      2nd – IF the ref made the ‘right call’ why is he DONE doing games in SFA 2010? FIFA thinks so highly of his performance that they have buttoned their lip about the call & will probably reward him with an early vacation: A One-Way ticket back to Mali!

      Susan, why you hatin’ on the US? Do you have a dog in this fight? Or are you Mrs. Coulibaly & have just realized that Koman just BLEW his big chance to get YOU out of Mali? In which case I say to you… GET OVER IT!

  10. Matt says:

    Susan, you’re an idiot….he nowhere close to being offsides. Are you really that dumb?

  11. daniel says:

    the referee must not be paid.Because that ball was not an offside okay they pushing altidore shirt right and findely came from the back to score the goal that ball is not an offside okay

  12. Brian says:

    Has anyone noticed that Mali is a (90%) Muslim country? Go Figure!!!

  13. Rick Rottman says:

    Mistake? For all we know, Koman Coulibaly meant to hose the US team. Every hour that goes by without him making a statement about the incident, makes me believe that he meant to make sure the game ended in a tie.

  14. sergio lima says:

    My God. They had make mistakes for years and on every world cup. But this time, they got the golden boys of America. Ohhhh It is over. Stop crying and let’s focus on the next opponent. The Americans, for the first time have a good coach who is making the difference. The team is a OK team but on the worst world cup ever in terms of quality, the US team has good chances to go far if they keep their focus and stop with this crying about the stupid mistake. They won’t reverse and Americans have no say in the world of soccer. If you want to win this thing, you got to understand one little detail. It will be always against you. The soccer community knows that the American population doesn’t give a s. about the game, how many people watched the first game? Ten Million? In Brazil is more like 130 million. In England, probably 20 million. You better get use to that, the American don’t have a name and are treated in the community the same way they treated Cameroon, Uruguay and Australia. If there is any doubt, it will be against you. This had happened in soccer for years and years. I watched small national teams being crushed by referees against my Brazil. Believe me, is a shame but it is a reality. If you want to win, you got to be stronger than the politics of the game. Nobody is going to give to you, you gonna have to take it. Forget it now and focus in the future matches.

    • Seminole Gunner says:

      This is not the first time the United States has been the victim of a crucial bad call in the World Cup (see the 2002 Quarterfinal for the most glaring example). But I have to ask, what do you suggest we do to “take it?” Do we have to score 4 goals to get credit for 3?

      I can understand your statement that no one is going to give the United States a break, but in this case we aren’t asking anyone to give us anything. This was not an instance of a questionable penalty decision with USA fans demanding a penalty be given and the referee seeing it differently. This was a case of the USA scoring a goal and it being ruled out for seemingly no reason.

      I think you make a great point about some nations getting better treatment than others. That is something we are very familiar with in American sports as well and personally I am prepared to accept a fair amount of it. The great nations of the world have earned their breaks in a sense, and there is nothing we can do about that. This particular incident just strikes me as too much. And if we’re going to go into which nation can expect favorable decisions, what exactly did Slovenia do to deserve the biggest break of the tournament so far?

      • sergiolima says:

        What I meant was that if the referee had any doubt about that particular play, if was Germany he would probably let it go. Because was the American squad he decided to stop. And I tell you, I believe he would do the same if happened with Slovenia. One thing I learned during my long years in soccer, the best result for an insecure referee is a draw. But the most important thing of all. When I said “take it” I meant, no matter who is trying to screw you, who doesn’t believe in you, who pay you the one of the lowest salaries in the tournament, no matter what, go there, play the game like you play in the second half and take it from the favorites, take it and win. Unfortunately, for the last three freaking day, all the media only is talking about the referee but this coach, Bradley is being talked about a lot in Brazil. Those journalists, people who study the game of soccer and analyze every aspect of the game and spend three hours every day on tvs and radios are all talking about Bradley and the tactical changes he made on the game, during the game and the way he transformed a loosing game in the best game played in the world cup so far. But here nobody is talking about that. In Brazil they gave the proper attention to the referee mistake with a emphatic phrase, the American team had a legit goal and the referee made a very bad call invalidating that goal. That’s it. People who follow soccer every day like I do understand how difficult is for one man on the same level of the players to make every single call right. It is easy for us to keep watching and watching the repetition. He did not have that. If he blinked at the play he lost that play. I know that and in the soccer community everybody gets nervous when something like that happened but we know is kind of normal. Sometimes comes your way and sometimes not.

  15. Matt says:

    Same s***, different day. Anytime an official makes a poor call in the finals, FIFA doesnt include it in the video summary. If i could direct you to this link: You will find the official fifa highlight from the USA Italy game in the 06 Cup. One of the most pivotal and controversial calls was excluded from the clip. Beasley scored what would have proved to be the winner, putting the entire group level on 3 points entering the final matchday. The decisive plays of the match must be included in a highlight, even if the officials clearly took the outcome of the match into their own hands.

    • sergio lima says:

      Yes, they robbed the us team. Two world cup in a row. What should US do? Stop playing in the WC? S…Happens. Get over.

      • Kevin_Amold says:

        I find your attitude somewhat disturbing sergio. Referee mistakes happen. However, Americans have been hosed in the last four FIFA tournaments they have participated in.

        1)The handball in 2002
        2)The dubious calls made against us in the Italy game and the Ghana game in 2006
        3)Bradley’s Red card against Spain. Completely unwarranted.
        4)The tragic disallowal of Edu’s goal.

        In any case, the Gaffer’s point is that FIFA is trying to scrub any evidence of this happening. This was THE talking point of the game, and they think that by not putting it in the video and by not discussing it in the report, that the world will forget about, they are sorely mistaken. I hope…

        • sergio Lima says:

          MY attitude? Please Kevin. Slow down a bit and read everything I said about the incident. My attitude? How about you trying to tell me and the world that FIFA is trying to screw a country that owns the most important market in the world? Now, if you are trying to tell me that FIFA is dirty, my God, you don’t have to tell me. I am from Brazil and my sports company had been trying to clean the sport there by making more professional treating more like a business and FIFA and CBF the Brazilian confederation are doing everything they can to close the doors to us, so, let’s not talk about FIFA’s honesty, but, don’t forget, they are not idiots. The World Cup is their main product. They want everything to go very smootly in order to make everybody happy and endup selling the next one for more money. So, there’s no intention on the mistake made by the referee and YES FIFA won’t talk about their mistakes. Because in their eyes FIFA never makes mistakes. But if you want to learn a little more about FIFA, read the book called FOUL! The secret world of FIFA: Bribes, vote rigging and ticket scandals by Andrew Jennings. Take care.

  16. Terry says:

    “So much for a thorough analysis of the incident.”

    Couldn’t the same thing be said about here or ESPN’s coverage or Fox’s or… For example, how anyone could blame Coulibaly for the non-foul call on Bradley when he was wrapped up on that questionable play? From the ref’s vantage point, those arms are on the other side of two bodies, which are themselves separated from the ref by a host of other bodies. Perhaps the side official could have spotted it… yet you won’t hear that here or on ESPN or Fox, etc. etc., very much. Just another whine.

  17. OPP says:

    I understand the pain the Americans are feeling but this is football and these things are expected. As someone said here (above), the ref has no benefit of replays and if he blinks even for a second that is done. Also, that the BIG footballing nations are treated with kid gloves is not farfetched, just for instance look at the two handballs in the Brazil/Ivory Coast game that resulted in the 2nd goal. Thereafter we see the ref jocking with the scorer about the possibility that it was a handball. Did the Ivorians even complain? Nada, since they most likly knew they are playing a favorite side. One thing Americans need to start doing is to start appreciating football (soccer is you like it that way) and support the sport, then they will have some credible arguments on things like these.

  18. Marie says:

    Yes, as an American there are many things I would like to say. 1st, yes we got robbed a win to equal 3 points which is crucial. 2nd Yes this has happened in the past and it will happen again in this sport and others esp if instant replay is not used to assist or change calls. 3rd America has so many other big sports that we do not put the emphasis on soccer as most other countries do r/t as mentioned, we have so many sports and as our population grows with people from other countries our melting pot may grow in these other areas. I for one only watch soccer anymore and have for years. 4th There was no doubt that this was not an offsides or foul, but the main offense and should be for all countries, fans, players and organizations is that when “goals” are won, it is identified and name(s) taken. Same for when “fouls” are made, it is identified and person permitting foul may be given a card and team fouled given kick, etc. SO, this is the offense here! The incident and person was never AND has still not been identified. This is done in all aspects of life; identify the problem to ensure we learn from it and it doesn’t happen again. Yes, we know that there can be human error and that the call is not and can not be changed, but I believe most are just looking for confirmation of error, or atleast not a cover up of error. We all can agree, US needs to play hard and technical from the start, not wait untill they are despirate and “heart” takes over to have (and I must say great) come back.

    • sergio lima says:

      Marie, I am 46 years old. I played soccer since I was 5. I played in the most important team in my state my entire life, I played at the state team and finaly at the national under 21 (called juniors at the time) and the referees never learned from their errors. I watched them take championship from my teams and give us championships. Soccer, sometimes, is a cruel game. In soccer not always the best team wins and because rarely a soccer team get more than one goal advantage any bad call by the referee will result in changing of the final result of the game. So, referees do make mistakes and people go crazy about it, but, for me, it is a bad part of the game and believe me, nobody will change the rules. They don’t even want to put two guys inside the field making the decisions. Do you think if we have two referees, both would see what that guy saw? I don’t think so. But FIFA is run by old guys who does not want the game to be changed. We can do nothing when they don’t care about doing nothing.

  19. Soccer fan says:

    Why is the USA quiet about all this? Shouldnt they at least officially request a explanation? I am not talking about boycotting but being given no explanation at all?
    And for those that talk about the politics of soccer- you are living in a cave if you dont know how much the international bodies want soccer to be popular in USA. Think about the money that can go into the game if it was popular in USA. Even if 10 million people watch it in USA, you would have a boat load of money invested in the game from them compared to 150 million in some other country. If you have more teams here, the markets for soccer products and players would only go up because of demand. And the job of FIFA is also to make the sport more popular, not controversial. Way to go!
    I would say they should get rid of the offside rule once the ball is beyond the midfield and that would simplify the refereeing and the game so much. If not than maybe they need 2 line judges with instant replay cameras just focussed on this- not a good alternative. Seriously, try being a referee and keep track of where everyone is when the ball is kicked and hoping the linesman see them even though you are standing on the other side of the play and your angles are all obscurred.
    Been a soccer fan for too long to see it ruined by bad rules/ officiating/ politics.

  20. patriot-slovenia! says:

    Stop whining, please! Mistakes in football are natural. Referees are human and make mistakes…

    Your team play dirty fooball all the time and you had luck not getting red cards…

    Be fair, shake hands…

    SLOVENIA is small country. With two million people sharing the same dream, we’ve proven we can make that dream a reality. And we’ve proven you’re as big as your heart is! :)))

    Good one:
    American: Where is Slovenia?
    Slovenian: On the top of group C!

    Bye, Patriot

  21. Como pode?? Nós temos hoje, satélites, 32 cameras no stádio, 4 arbitros, maquinas de alta velocidade, gerando super cameras-lentas: Para nada. E não temos um só monitor no campo dentro de uma cabine para mostrar que a BOLA…ENTROU, ou não. [ Talvez assim seja mais fácil manipular resultados] É preciso que a FIFA tome uma atitude, ou saia de campo. Ex: Holanda-X- Inglaterra, domingo dia 27-06-2010, Que injustiça, que ridículo. Este texto já foi registrado: Não copie.

  22. Guy Harvey says: also doesn’t show video of the England’s non-goal and the report unlike every other report just says the ball hit hit the bar and bounced down and the referee ruled it wasn’t a goal. Also non of the quotes from English players mention the non-goal where as on other news sites, they all mention it.

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