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Ecuador’s Quinteros does not mince words over controversial call

Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

Pasadena, Calif. – Ecuadorian head coach Gustavo Quinteros got right to the point in his post match press conference in the bowels of the Rose Bowl after his team’s 0-0 draw against South American giants Brazil.

“With a bionic look, the referee decided to invalidate the goal,” Quinteros quipped.

The call in question happened in the 66th minute, when Ecuadorian attacker Miler Bolaños flew past Brazilian defender Felipe Luis, then fired a wishful shot from the endline at the goal.  Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson, partially obstructed by his own goal post, fumbled the ball, and it bounced through is arms and trickled into the net.

The Ecuadorians erupted in celebration.  The Brazilians were stunned.  But it all only lasted a moment, until referee Julio Bascuñan ran in and waved off the goal, pointing to his assistant referee on the far side of play, who had raised his flag, indicating that he had seen the ball cross the endline before Bolaños shot.

Quinteros launched into diatribe that had some reporters laughing, and others looking on in surprise.

“I saw it twenty five times on video just now, and the ball never went out completely.  Maybe 70 percent the ball went out of bounds,” Quinteros said. “The assistant referee was so sure of the play he called even though then we can see that it wasn’t what he saw.  And he’s so sure of himself, even though he’s fifty, sixty meters away.  If he had been closer, then I guess we wouldn’t be so angry.”

Not content simply to call out the referee’s competence, Quinteros added dose of conspiracy to his tirade.

“I just saw the replay several times, and unfortunately the referees again make a mistake in favor of the stronger team,” Quinteros said. “In fact, if the play had been on the other side, we doubt very much that the referee would have decided to invalidate that goal.  So we’re very angry about that.”

It is unclear whether Copa America officials will censure Quinteros for his remarks, or if he’s simply added a little spice to the tournament.  Regardless of the invalidated goal, it was a positive result for his side, who will meet arch-enemy Peru in Arizona in four days’ time.

“All that effort, all that work, and we get a goal taken away from us,” concluded Quinteros. “In any case, we’re very happy with the way the team played, and we’re ok with the result.”


  1. I’m curious, for the leagues experimenting with refs on the end lines, does anyone know why they are located on side nearest the sideline ref? Why are they not located on the opposite side of the goal? Seems like that would give a better overview of the entire field.

    For this particular non-goal in this game, it would have happened right in front of an end line ref had he been located as I’m questioning.

  2. It was a bang-bang call to be honest, but it also demonstrated the extreme limitations that exist with the current soccer officiating set-up, the call came from 56 yards away by a guy looking through players and the posts/net. Yeah, that’s efficient.

  3. Whether it’s because of what Blatter said a few years back about how they like the controversy or just lack of attention or ingenuity or something else, this sport doesn’t really care about officiating, in the end. It’s as simple as that.

    What a relief it is to return to watching other sports and see the stark contrast as they use sufficient officials and technology and so forth to get things right, so that the outcomes make sense.

    • Because the NBA isn’t riddled with bad calls and controversy over referees betting on games, making subjective foul calls and ejections.

      And I guess MLB fans never complain about balls and strikes being called inconsistently.

      NFL fans certainly don’t cry over pass interference calls and personal fouls.

      Come on, man.

      • Sorry — never watch NBA so I can’t comment. But MLB, NFL, NHL, even tennis are all worlds better than soccer in terms of officiating. And rarely if ever does a blown call in any of those arenas so clearly threaten the final outcome, as they frequently do in soccer.

        Come on, man.

      • Total nonsense RB. The NFL is one big judgement call. Offensive holding, PI, OPI, Holding, definition of a catch. I know it makes you feel good to take some moral high ground but there are 20x the number of bad judgement calls in a single NFL game than in a world football game. Get off your high horse.

      • Not on a high horse, it’s just reality: all those sports are worlds better. They have more refs to cover what’s going on, the refs are much more consistent, and they actually make an effort to use technology in appropriate ways and get things right. And again, you guys are talking a ball or strike call or a holding or interference call, rarely calls that arguably affect the outcome, unlike in soccer, where they often do.

      • Yeah if you don’t think an ambiguous strike zone or PI calls don’t directly affect the outcome of the game then you don’t know either sport or are just an activist poster with an agenda.

      • Being hyperbolic to make a point doesn’t help the argument. Horrible calls exist in all sporting realms on a weekly basis. Even when those sports have access to instant replay.

        To deny this is to admit you don’t watch other sports closely or you’re just trying to be right on the original nonsensical statement.

      • If you’re referring to me (you’re so far off the mark its hard to be sure), it would really serve you better to read what I said before attempting to criticize it.

      • I recall a game between Seattle and Green Bay 2 years ago… I don’t think I have to say anything else. that is game, set, match on this topic. I will say however, that north/central american refs are generally far worse than refs from any other region in consistently making poor calls. I wish we could just import EC refs for tournaments like this.

      • No one example can possibly be game, set, match on this point as nobody has claimed that bad, costly, outcome-affecting calls don’t ever happen in other sports. Rather they happen so much more frequently in soccer that they are routine, quite unlike in those other sports.

        Even the game design differences make this obvious. The example in question in this report involved the incorrect cancelling out of 100% of the scoring in the entire match, just by a bad call. Does anyone have any examples like that from the NFL, or MLB, or the NHL? And it’s not even possible in tennis.

        Nor is this example an outlier. Just last week what was up to that point 100% of the scoring in the UCL final was allowed even though many said it shouldn’t have been; that ended up being 100% of the acoring by the team that eventually won what is the most prestigious club championship in the world, and of course a full 50% of the (real) scoring in the entire match. Last year’s MLS Cup Final had yet another such incident that directly led to another such crucial score. This just isn’t the case on ball or strike calls and is rarely so obviously outcome-affecting even on a big PI call (or no call) or a goal review in hockey. And even when it is, you still don’t have woefully understaffed refereeing crews in those other sports who cannot possibly be expected to accurately cover everything going on AND who have no recourse to technology as a back-up.

        There is just no reasonable comparison between the way soccer runs things and the situation in here other sports.

      • Well yes, that’s why I can make the comparison. Same with the other sports mentioned, except for the NBA, which I excepted because as I noted, I really don’t watch basketball at all.

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