The Canadian women’s soccer team won’t face discipline from FIFA before its Olympic bronze-medal match.
Soccer’s international governing body had said it was considering discipline against Canada’s coach and players over remarks made about the referee following a controversial loss to the U.S. in the Olympic semifinals.
But a FIFA spokesman said Wednesday that “further investigation will be needed” by the organization’s disciplinary committee, and that no decision will be made before the bronze-medal match against France on Thursday.
“The Canadian Soccer Association supports the work of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will continue to cooperate fully,” CSA president Victor Montagliani said in a statement. “We will work closely with FIFA to ensure a prompt and fair resolution in this matter.”
CBCSports.ca soccer contributor Ben Rycroft reported Tuesday that a Canadian Soccer Association source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that any discipline that may occur would likely not involve suspensions. The source added that any fines issued to players would be paid by the CSA.
The Canadians were upset over referee Christiana Pedersen’s call on goalkeeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long, which started a sequence that led to the Americans' tying goal late in their semifinal match.
The U.S. won 4-3 in extra time, advancing to Thursday's title game against Japan where they're guaranteed to come away with at least a silver medal. Canada was relegated to the bronze match against France.
Canadian coach John Herdman was livid with Pedersen on Monday.
"She'll have to sleep in bed tonight after watching the replays, she's got that to live with," he said. "We'll move on from this, I wonder if she'll be able to."
McLeod said Pedersen told her that she had held the ball for 10 seconds.
"Not even close," McLeod replied.
Christine Sinclair, who scored all three of Canada's goals, said afterward that "the ref decided the result before the game started."
Sinclair also said she pleaded with Pedersen to reconsider the pivotal call.
"She actually giggled and said nothing," Sinclair said. "Classy."
Sinclair felt the Canadians were robbed of a victory.
"Obviously, we're disappointed and upset. We felt that the referee took it away from us, so, yes, we are disappointed. We feel like we didn't lose, 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."
In a press conference ahead of their gold-medal match against Japan, some American players accused Canada of dirty tactics and said the Canadians tried to slow their team down by being overly physical.
U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd said Canada's Melissa Tancredi intentionally stomped on her head in the second half.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the replay,” said Lloyd. “As it was happening in the game, I just thought someone accidentally stepped on me. When I saw that, I couldn’t believe it. I hope actions are taken.”
American midfielder Megan Rapinoe said the physical play went too far.
“I think for the most part it was two teams going after what they really wanted,” said Rapinoe, who scored twice against the Canadians before Alex Morgan scored the game-winner in extra time. “But it crossed the line a few times. I think that’s pretty obvious.”