US-Slovenia Spotlight Shines on Ref

Koman Coulibaly of Mali stirs controversy by nullifying late goal
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2010 3:57 PM CDT
United States' Landon Donovan, left, reacts as referee Koman Coulibaly, of Mali, shows a yellow card and not a red one to a Slovenian player during the World Cup group C soccer match between Slovenia...   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(Newser) – The most famous person in American soccer today isn't an American or a soccer player: He's Koman Coulibaly, a World Cup referee from Mali. In today's US-Slovenia match, a 2-2 draw, Coulibaly awarded a free kick on an obvious dive, then negated a goal that would have given the Americans a late 3-2 lead—and refused to tell the irate players what the infraction was. "I am gutted," said Landon Donovan, who set up what appeared to be Maurice Edu's game-winner. “I don’t know how they stole that third goal from us."

"I’m not sure what the call was, he didn’t tell us what the call was," Donovan continued. “It was the guy’s first World Cup game, maybe he got caught up in the moment." The waved-off goal may have been a makeup call for the free kick, speculates Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times. And Coulibaly's Wikipedia page was promptly vandalized, notes Fanhouse.
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