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ckamo

Olympic Women's Soccer

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I totally sympathise with the Canadian women's team in this affair but the one thing that Christine said ("the ref decided the result before it started") simply cannot be tolerated by any sporting governing body since it is the same as saying "the match was fixed". This one sentence was an incredibly stupid thing to say, the rest was right on IMHO. It WAS indeed a travesty of officiating but you simply cannot say that the governing body fixed the match and get away with it. I feel that FIFA deliberately delayed this decision so as to not alter the outcome of the tournament for which we as Canadians should be grateful, but anybody with a brain could have predicted some sort of suspension for her comments. Sad story all around.

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I totally sympathise with the Canadian women's team in this affair but the one thing that Christine said ("the ref decided the result before it started") simply cannot be tolerated by any sporting governing body since it is the same as saying "the match was fixed". This one sentence was an incredibly stupid thing to say, the rest was right on IMHO. It WAS indeed a travesty of officiating but you simply cannot say that the governing body fixed the match and get away with it. I feel that FIFA deliberately delayed this decision so as to not alter the outcome of the tournament for which we as Canadians should be grateful, but anybody with a brain could have predicted some sort of suspension for her comments. Sad story all around.

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So she gets 4 games and the ref is found to be not good enough to ref at the higher/highest level of soccer.

This only makes sense if FIFA lets the ref continue to work those level games, thus the suspension backs their belief in their official.

But to suspend the player and demote the ref is just goofy.

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Sinclair deserving of FIFA wrist slap

Like an episode of Seinfeld, it was a conference call about nothing.

To summarize, the Canadian Soccer Association and Christine Sinclair, speaking via telephone hookup Monday which, judging by the sound quality, was conducted in the bottom of a rain-barrel - Neil Armstrong's "one small step for man" was more audible, and he was on the moon at the time - said that everybody supported everybody else and yes, they would pay the fine and she would do the time.

So calm down, everyone. It's 3,500 Swiss francs including processing charges ($3,670.10 Cdn), not even the last dime of which will come out of Sinclair's pocket, and it's four games in China and/or Cyprus in January and February that will have zero impact on the Canadian team's preparations for the 2015 women's World Cup.

That it took two months for the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to render its decision, with no new evidence to consider, is probably the most irksome part of the debate.

But the fine? The sentence? The principle of the thing? There's nothing wrong with any of them.

Even if Sinclair, the fabulous 29-year-old Burnaby striker has had nothing but support from the CSA and the entire Canadian Olympic team, and all her coaches and teammates and fans, there's no getting around it: she did cross the line in her remarks about Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen after Canada's 4-3 heartbreaking overtime loss to the United States at the Summer Olympics.

The CSA's press release said FIFA's punishment of Sinclair was "for displaying unsporting behaviour towards match officials after the match," which indicates there may have been something more than just her comments to the media.

That FIFA didn't suspend Sinclair on the spot, disqualifying her from the bronze-medal game, was an eloquent statement about the kind of job they knew the referee had done and a tacit admission that the Canadians had every right to be upset.

But even if it was just the public comments, the difference between "It's a shame in a game like that, that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started" - Sinclair's words to reporters - and "the game was fixed" is pure semantics. The referee is the one with the whistle, who can make it happen if the fix is in. If she has already decided the outcome before the first ball is kicked, what else would you call it? No self-respecting league or federation is going to allow a suggestion of game-fixing to go unchallenged.

In fact, the most newsworthy utterance to come out of Monday's conference was right at the end when someone pressed Sinclair about whether she still believed what she said in the heat of the moment that day at Old Trafford in Manchester, after a series of controversial calls by Pedersen robbed Canada of a victory over their heavily-favoured U.S. rivals.

It took two tries to get her to say it, but she finally did: "No," Sinclair said, "I don't ultimately believe she went into the match hoping the U.S. would win."

Sinclair said she has never once been asked to apologize for her remarks. Presumably, if she had, the next day or the day after - and if there had been nothing beyond the quotes in the media - FIFA might have written it off to bad judgment and there'd have been no suspension. It was partly because there was no regret or remorse expressed that the world body got its back up.

"I don't regret what I said," Sinclair said Monday. "We'd just lost a chance at playing for an Olympic gold medal. It was a very intense time and I was very emotional, and I wouldn't want to change that.

"Right now, I'd just like to acknowledge FIFA's decision and it is my intent to accept it. I, as a player, just want to move on, and allow my team to move on, as we prepare for the biggest three years ever in the program's history."

The CSA said it has asked FIFA for its "reasons for judgment" and expects those to arrive within a couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see whether they are made public.

Sinclair is among the two or three finest female soccer players in the world, has carried Canada on her back for a decade or more, and has pretty much every admirable quality you could ask for in a leader and captain. She's combative, creative, unselfish, opportunistic and rises to the occasion effortlessly.

In standing up for her wronged teammates with a fiery post-game reaction, she was doing exactly what a captain ought to do.

But the corollary to the captain's unwritten compact, after "I said it, I stand by it," is: "and I'll accept the consequences, because I believe it had to be said."

She and the CSA and the COC didn't appear willing to accept the consequences. If it took two months for FIFA to hand down its punishment, it also appears to have taken that long for Sinclair and the CSA to admit they had some coming.

Anyone who thought there would be none is irretrievably lacking in objectivity. Now it's arrived - and it's minor, in the grand scheme.

"It's not really the biggest deal," Sinclair said. "It's a good opportunity for our team. I know John (Herdman, the national women's coach) wants to try some younger players and there's no better chance than international games against some of the best teams in the world."

The Olympics are over, and she played the bronze-medal match. The women's World Cup is nearly three years away, and anyway Canada is prequalified as the host nation. She'll sit out a few meaningless friendlies, and life will go on.

Forty lashes with a wet noodle.

Court is adjourned.

ccole@vancouversun.com Twitter.com/rcamcole

© Copyright © The Vancouver Sun

Read more: http://www.vancouver...l#ixzz29S7NkXCx

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Too bad she is suspended. The CanMNT could really have used her out there today ;) ..... :(

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The women's team should play the men's team for an exhibition, I wonder who would win

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Way to go Sincy!

KK finally posted the video of the team singing their traditional winning song "The Power of Love"

Soooooo adorable.

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Oh pleeze, pleeeeeeease don't let it be Abby Wambach :sick: I could stomach (barely) Morgan but that other one, no how, no way. Go Marta!!!

How Sinclair did not make the short list is beyond me......obviously whoever made those picks was not watching Sinclair at all or even reviewing her record - I mean really, Canada? Women's soccer? Who the hell are they, anyway? Those American players were well schooled indeed by her..... and only walked away with a gold medal due to referee incompetence, not the play on the pitch. If you can't win fairly, then have you really won anything?

Yeah, I'm still bitter as hell! :lol:

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Oh pleeze, pleeeeeeease don't let it be Abby Wambach :sick: I could stomach (barely) Morgan but that other one, no how, no way. Go Marta!!!

How Sinclair did not make the short list is beyond me......obviously whoever made those picks was not watching Sinclair at all or even reviewing her record - I mean really, Canada? Women's soccer? Who the hell are they, anyway? Those American players were well schooled indeed by her..... and only walked away with a gold medal due to referee incompetence, not the play on the pitch. If you can't win fairly, then have you really won anything?

Yeah, I'm still bitter as hell! :lol:

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It's absolutely comical that Wambach is a finalist after blatantly influencing the ref in the Olympic semifinal.

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Wambach is a talented footballer, but, she is an even more talented whiner / bitcher / complainer.

Sinclair deserves the Player Of The Year, no question.

IMO, Morgan is the best women's player in the world, right now.

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Congrats to Sincy on winning the Lou Marsh Award as Canadian Athlete of the Year! Well deserved for such a great champion.

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It happened. In spite of her antics in the semifinal they named Wambach the player of the year. You stay classy FIFA.

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