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Rowdies release statement, video blasting ‘incompetent’ refereeing


The Tampa Bay Rowdies are far from the only club that feels hard done by American officiating, but the NASL side took their grievances to the next level with a scathing public statement.

Rowdies chairman, CEO and Governor Bill Edwards blasted the standard of refereeing his side has seen throughout the 2016 season in a public statement on Monday. The statement, which was accompanied by a seven minute video highlighting calls the club found questionable, comes in the aftermath of a 2-2 draw with the rival New York Cosmos.

Edwards says the team has submitted an official NASL Officiating Evaluation Form after every match in an effort to point out the perceived deficiencies, but the Rowdies believe they have seen little improvement throughout the season.

“I have been quiet all season about the poor officiating that has been taking place at Rowdies matches, but after Saturday night’s match against the Cosmos I feel compelled to speak out,” Edwards said. “It’s become clear these calls are not going to ‘even themselves out’ over the remainder of the year.

“As [head coach Stuart Campbell] said after the match, the officiating was disgusting,” Edwards continued. “It was the last straw in what I believe to be a season full of inconsistent, incompetent and unprofessional refereeing. And while it’s easy to dismiss it as ‘just a game’, these bad calls can affect the lives and livelihoods of everyone associated with the club.”

The Rowdies currently sit seventh in the NASL Fall standings, and return to action on Wednesday against Rayo OKC.

Check out the video released alongside Edwards’ statement below:

What do you think of the statement? Do the Rowdies have a reason to be angry, or is it just sour grapes?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Not sure including other games really helps their cause. Couldn’t every team in every league put together 7 minutes of missed calls over a little over half a season? Is anyone shocked that Cosmos got the benefit of the calls over the weekend, the defending champ and winners of 2 out of the last 3 usually get the calls in any league and sport.

    On a different note Joe Cole has been a great addition for the Rowdies.

  2. USL is pretty poor too. I was at an OC Blues vs OKC game and the linesman called offsides on a throw in. I $h!t you not!!! Add to that the Center ref actually blew his whistle and gave the kick for offside as well.

  3. The offside call on Rowdies/Railhawks was vomit inducing. I was in the stands, more or less on the offside line for that call and I went bonkers…not that it mattered…the other 2 penalty calls in that game could have gone either way…

    Mwanga’s offside call v. Cosmos that would have tied the game-also disgusting! The handball v. Otawa was a stone cold penalty! The disallowed goal v. Cosmos this Saturday is also a head scratcher…what was the actual call? That referee is a clown, keep him away from a soccer field; for good!

    Shockingly incompetent officiating in MLS/NASL is nothing new, unfortunately.

    And nothing will change…Gaiger is the best US has to offer in terms of refereeing, the guy is laughable, enough said…

    • not a stone cold penalty versus ottawa. ball is kicked into the arm of player with his back to play. his arm was at his side. that is considered natural position and ball to hand, not hand to ball. it is not deliberate handling.


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