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World Cup Ticker: Geiger accused of asking for Pepe’s jersey, Southgate injured while jogging, and more


If one Moroccan player is to be believed, American referee Mark Geiger was a little star struck during his first match of the 2018 World Cup.

Nordin Amrabat claims the MLS official asked Portuguese defender Pepe for his jersey during the first half of the Portugal-Morocco match that saw the North African side eliminated from the World Cup.

“It’s incredible, I do not know what this American referee is used to,” Morocco winger Amrabat told Dutch television network NOS after the match. “He was very impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo, and I heard from Pepe that he asked for Pepe’s shirt in the first half.

“Come on, man, we’re here at a World Cup, it’s not a circus!”

That wasn’t the only complaint Morocco had about Geiger. Karim El Ahmadi criticised him for missing a foul on Ronaldo’s fourth minute goal that proved the decisive tally.

england coach gareth southgate injured while jogging

England had the day off from training, but that didn’t stop one of their ranks from picking up a knock.

Head coach Gareth Southgate was going for a run in Repino near the England base camp when he fell and dislocated his right shoulder. He addressed reporters with his arm in a sling after the incident.

“I might not be celebrating any goals as athletically in future!” Soughgate said.

“It is better this is me than one of the players,” he added.

mexico federation fined 10,000 swiss francs for offensive fan chants

FIFA’s investigation into Mexican fan chanting has concluded and the federation has been assessed a “minor” fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs  for “discriminatory and insulting chants” during their 1-0 win over Germany.

Mexican supporters were clearly heard chanting at goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during his goal kicks throughout the match.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico,” FIFA wrote in a statement.

Javier Hernandez took to Instagram to urge the country’s supporters to stop the anti-gay chant. “To all Mexican fans in the stadiums, don’t shout ‘pu…’,” he said. “Let’s not risk another sanction.”

Mexico weren’t the only ones fined. Serbia were also docked 10,000 Francs “for the display of an offensive and political banner by Serbian fans during the match played between Serbia and Costa Rica.”


  1. Gieger referees big matches in big tournaments and big games during the season. Everyone will look for a scapegoat, and that is the ref. I am not saying he did a great job in the Gold cup a few yeas ago, but he wasn’t the only one.

    Gieger continues to get good marks from tests, on field assessments and in training.

    But the comment from the Moroccan player is idiotic. it is idiotic if true on Geiger’s part; it is idiotic for the player to say it if it is not. I will believe Gieger, until he pulls a Moreno.

  2. So a Moroccan player, whose team lost during which an American officiated claims the ref was doing bad things huh? Gee, so shocking seeing that the Moroccans lost the game. So transparent.

    • Why would an American be biased against a Moroccan?


      If we had lost the bid to Morocco, sure, Geiger wouldn’t have belonged within a mile of that Moroccan match, but we won the durn thing, and comfortably. The Moroccans might have some butthurt towards the USA at the moment; the reverse simply ain’t true. We just don’t have any reason to resent them.

      Also, I hardly think that Gieger, who has reffed players such as David Beckham, David Villa, Pirlo, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Kaka, and most lately even Zlatan Ibrahimovic in MLS, is going to be all gaga over the Portugese team. Aside from Ronaldo, is he even going to know who any of them were?

  3. Not sure I buy the sour grapes. I am pretty sure the German 4th official would have heard anything Geiger said and those Germans are sticklers for rules.

    Also, I thought Geiger did a decent job, he seemed to treat both sides fairly, even if he did get a sort of hero-worship smile on his face when Ronaldo shook his hand. Still, that is hardly any indication of favoritism.

    In any case, he did a much,much better job than the guy who refereed the Sweden-Korea match.

    As someone who used to referee, I heard complaints from only the losers, never the winners even in a couple cases where I thought the winners were thuggish, penalized them for it and privately thought that maybe I was being too harsh on them, the losing coach complained.

  4. if it’s true, i actually think geiger should be fined for doing this. it’s unprofessional behavior for a game official.

    • geiger could leverage his position as a game official and extort jersies from players during every match and then sell them on ebay after the games and have a comfortable little side income for himself. couldn’t he?

    • but more importantly, i cringe every time i hear the name geiger will be officiating an important match. i may need a little help here digging out the details, but there were multiple incidents involving geiger in previous wc cycles and gold cups in concacaf in which questionable calls and non-calls from geiger altered the outcomes of these important games. usually to the benefit of the usa. either helping the usa to win or helping another team to lose so that the usa can advance or whatever.

    • help me out here? what was it? something like mark geiger, the usa, and something like honduras and maybe either the gold cup or wc qualifying out of the hex and controversial pk or non-pk helps usa to go through?

    • thank you, neal! yes, that mexico-panama match was a key example of geiger’s questionable officiating. here is an si article on the same incident:

      Controversy continues to cloud Gold Cup after Mexico-Panama fiasco

      “There is never a random draw to fill out the groups and brackets. Why? Well, the bracket is engineered—some would say rigged—to give the best chance of producing a U.S.-Mexico final (which means more tickets sold and higher TV ratings).” says grant wahl at si. you can’t make up stuff like this.

      “Then on Wednesday night in Atlanta, the Mexico-Panama Gold Cup semifinal turned into the ugliest game I have ever seen on U.S. soil since I started covering the sport in 1996…With Mexico on the brink of elimination, Geiger whistled a phantom penalty in Mexico’s favor in the 89th minute…”

      you can read the whole thing.

      the president of the Panama football federation said that the match was fixed:

      ““We perceive that this match was manipulated, and not by the Mexican federation, but there are interested third parties,” said Panama FA president Pedro Chaluja. “The bad refereeing decisions were deliberate and with the intention of protecting the third parties. These events can only be decrypted if FIFA and CONCACAF join together to carry out a thorough investigation into the development that referee Mark Geiger was so unfavorable and ended up robbing the victory and the dreams of all Panamanians.””

      • You ranted about there being a history of Geiger making bad calls to favor the U.S. but all you have is one match in which his calls favored Mexico.

  5. I know Geiger’s communication piece was not working during the second half but it was during the first half so if this is indeed the case it will be recorded or at least heard by the officiating crew. I highly doubt the accusation is true but I suppose it would be key to actually know what transpired. Sounds like sour grapes to me from the morroncan player.


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