Although the United States defeated Colombia 2-0 last night, both Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday received their second yellow card of the tournament, suspending them for the quarterfinals. Abby Wambach was not happy.
Rapinoe and Holiday were the only players for the U.S that had yellow cards through the tournament, and Wambach thinks that them each receiving their second against Colombia wasn’t a coincidence.
“I don’t know if they were yellows. It seemed like she (Stephanie Frappart) was purposefully giving those yellows to, maybe players she knew were sitting on yellows. I don’t know if that’s a psychological thing. Who knows?” Wambach said.
Wambach is never one to shy away from speaking her mind, but FIFA is notorious for not putting up with controversial comments on the officiating of matches.
When Canada’s Christine Sinclair said that officials had decided the outcome before the 2012 game in the London Olympics against the United States, she was given a four-game ban, but was allowed to play in the third-place match against France.
According to Reuters, Wambach could see a penalty for her somewhat harsh words. Wambach argued that Holiday was given her yellow card in her first foul in the match, which she saw as unfair. On the other hand, Rapinoe had several fouls before being awarded the yellow card, but calls she saw as unfair.
“I knew [it meant missing the next game], of course,” Rapinoe said. “You can’t change too much how you play. Maybe I could have been a little bit more cautious, but I didn’t think the fouls were that bad. Yeah, it’s unfortunate both Holiday and I out for the next game. But we’ve got good players coming off the bench, so I don’t feel too bad about it.”
The American squad does have one of the deepest teams in the tournament, and will most likely see Megan Brian sub in for Holiday and Christen Press for Rapine. The young players may struggle though in playing the whole 90 minutes.
Holiday was also upset with her yellow card. Holiday has been imperative to the midfield for the U.S.
“I didn’t think about it the rest of the game,” Holiday said. “It was unfortunate that it happened, and I think it was a weak yellow card, in my opinion.”
Whether or not Wambach will get suspended, a warning, or FIFA will look the other way is still unknown. But it did seem a bit unusual that the only two yellow cards in the game were to the only Americans who had received them previously, while Colombia had seven players with yellow cards in previous matches.