Suck it up, Canada
Many Red and White-clad supporters were up in arms when Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was called for holding the ball too long inside the 18-yard box against the U.S. in an Olympic Summer Games semifinal in England last month.
The call, made by Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen, led to the Americans’ tying goal, which forced extra time.
Hearts across the Great White North were broken when the U.S. sunk Canada late in extra time, winning 4-3 and booking a spot in the gold-medal matchup.
Tony Waiters, former England goalkeeper, former national men’s team coach and former referee, tends to side with the zebras on this one.
“Sometimes, it’s a bit of an excuse to put the onus on the referee,” Waiters said.
“She was well within her rights to do what she did.”
Waiters can understand why some Canadians are upset, given that particular call is rarely made and it turned the course of the game.
Still, McLeod did hold onto the ball for longer than six seconds, he said, and that’s against the rules.
“One of the American players was counting and made the referee aware,” Waiters said.
“I always have sympathy for referees because I’ve done it before.
“The good thing was Canada won the bronze and it didn’t affect McLeod in the next game.”