Olympian Christine Sinclair waits for FIFA decision

by | Oct 5, 2012 | Sports

Christine Sinclair warming up during practice.                                          COURTESY WIKICOMMONS

By Adriano Mancini

The Canadian Soccer Association said a decision from FIFA on whether to suspend star Olympic forward Christine Sinclair will have to wait until next week.

“We don’t expect to hear from FIFA until early next week,” Canada Soccer Association spokeswoman Michele Dion told The Globe and Mail.

The 29-year old Canadian striker could face disciplinary action for her comments following Canada’s controversial semi-final loss to the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug 6.

“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,” Sinclair told a crush of reporters after the match.

In what was a game-changing decision, Canada was winning the match with only a few minutes remaining when Norweigian referee Christiana Pedersen penalized Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long.

The ensuing free kick led to a penalty kick for the United States, which forward Abby Wambach would score to send the match into extra time. Wambach’s teammate Alex Morgan scored the winning goal in the 123rd minute.

Heated exchanges between players and officials are not uncommon, especially in soccer.

“Coaches remind you from time to time to just focus on the game and avoid getting cautioned for bad mouthing to referees,” said Yousuf Mohammad, a forward for the Varsity Reds of the University of New Brunswick and former Humber Hawk. “They know that soccer players get emotional in the game.”

As a player Mohammad disagrees with the way Sinclair reacted after the match.

“Every player will always have the urge to let the referee know how he feels but it wouldn’t change the score,” he added. “I personally find it pointless to vent it out on the referees.”

Should the FIFA committee decide to penalize Sinclair, she could be faced with a lengthy suspension from Canada’s national team and handed a fine.