It’s always a downer when you’re all geared up and ready for a match, only to get an email notification that your game tonight has been cancelled, or rescheduled. That’s what happened to me last night however, I was able to salvage what was left of my evening by catching the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semi final between Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. Thankfully the game was very exciting and fairly high scoring as Toronto was losing on aggregate and needed a fairly high number of goals if they wanted any part in the final. The blind mice for the night did a tremendous job of controlling the match without any major problems however, I did feel that there was an opportunity for a Montreal send off.
In the 63rd minute of play, Referee Mathieu Bourdeau cautioned Montreal Captain Patrice Bernier for a rather nasty challenge. This challenge could have possibly seen Montreal play a man short for the remaining 27 minutes however, Patrice is only cautioned. Not too long after, in the 71st minute, Bernier deliberately holds Giovinco with an arm across the chest, and makes no attempt whatsoever to play ball, which in my opinion breaks up a promising attack. I am not a mind reader nor a psychic however, judging by Giovinco’s speed and the number of defenders (or lack there of) there is no question in my mind that this is the perfect definition of a promising attack.
Now, granted that I am not the man in the middle, and I’m able to view this from the comfort of my own home, sitting on the couch watching 100 replays for this one incident at 1/2 the speed. There is no question that Referee Bordeau has only a split second to make a decision, actually 10 decisions in the fraction of a second, and I’m not saying that he’s wrong (or am I?) – he is the man in charge and the LotG clearly state “…in the opinion of the referee”. However, I am a bit skeptical think that Bordeau actually doesn’t believe that this is indeed a promising attack and that Bernier should not have been cautioned. I don’t know what was going on in his mind, or what his thought process was. Maybe he was trying to manage the game and thought “if I caution him, then he’s got to go and that’s going to throw this otherwise peaceful game into a tizzy”. Maybe he just plainly didn’t have the optimal viewing angle and saw something different. Whatever the case may be, I am of the strong belief that regardless of the circumstances a caution, is a caution, is a caution, and is always a caution!
As referees. we do not get to pick and choose which laws we want to follow. We are steward of the LotG and our job is simple…uphold the laws to the best of our abilities. We don’t write the laws, we only enforce them, whether we like it or not.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
The Third Blind Mouse