By DAN KARELL
PRO, the Professional Referee Organization that provides and governs officials in the U.S. and Canada, released a statement on Thursday defending referee Jair Marrufo for not calling a handball in the 90th minute, on a play that resulted in a goal.
Last Sunday, FC Dallas’ Kenny Cooper used his right shoulder and biceps to control a cross, before scoring the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Houston.
In their statement, the organization cited Law 12 within the official Laws of the Game, which states “Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm.”
Using this, PRO wrote that because the handball was unintentional on Cooper’s part, Marrufo was correct to allow play to continue.
In response to the goal, and other perceived miscues from Marrufo during the match, Houston Dynamo manager Dom Kinnear strongly chastised the standard of play, saying that cheaters were ruining the game. The 34-year-old Marrufo was been named MLS Referee of the Year in the 2008, but has also suspended for a half-season due to poor form.
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