San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica football federation requests overhaul of CONCACAF officiating

Update, Friday, July 24 at 7:45 a.m.:

Costa Rican football officials sent a letter to CONCACAF’s Executive Committee President Alfredo Hawit Thursday night asking that every member of the association’s referee committee be fired. The football federation also listed the names of five officials, including Walter López, who called the suspect penalty on Roy Miller in the loss to Mexico, that it requests never be assigned to a Costa Rican match again.

Secretary General Rafael Vargas Brenes signed off on the letter that reads as a list of indictments against CONCACAF officiating, citing examples of improper refereeing from as far back as 2011.

“We consider that Costa Rica has been directly affected by the poor work of the officials and we present as evidence, an analysis of the irregularities that occurred in our national team’s games, in search of a clear and conclusive response on the part of your Executive Committee,” the letter reads.

Original story continues here:

As international football remains clouded by allegations of corruption within its highest governing body, two officiating controversies in four days at the Gold Cup have cast even more doubt over the sport’s integrity.

One high-ranking official at Costa Rica’s Football Federation (FEDEFUTBOL) said he’s had enough and wants the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) to restructure it’s referee committee.

The request follows questionable calls in Mexico’s favor throughout the Gold Cup tournament, namely a 121st minute yellow card in Sunday’s match against Costa Rica and Wednesday night’s debacle in which referees awarded a pair of penalty kicks to Mexico in its 2-1 win over Panama.

“The damage this has done to football at the world level and at the level of CONCACAF is going to take many years to repair,” FEDEFUTBOL treasurer Rodolfo Villalobos told television reporters on Thursday afternoon. “But now is the time to begin this reparation process.”

Watch officials hold back livid Panamanian players after the team’s loss to Mexico on Wednesday following two controversial penalty calls.

Villalobos, who also serves on CONCACAF’s referee committee, said he would hand in his resignation if the necessary changes aren’t made to improve the region’s officiating.

“If immediate restructuring is not made then I’ll be presenting them with my resignation,” Villalobos said. “There’s no point in continuing there as a waste of space practically.”

When reached by The Tico Times, FEDEFUTBOL press representative Cristian Williams said the federation was analyzing the situation and preparing notes and videos that could be sent to CONCACAF as part of a formal complaint.

The first supposed penalty in the Mexico-Panama Gold Cup game:

The federation’s gripe follows a similar complaint from Panama, which is calling for widespread changes among the referee committee. Panamanian Football Federation leaders submitted an official request to CONCACAF early Wednesday morning, saying officials robbed them of a spot in the Gold Cup finals with a series of bad calls.

“What happened on Wednesday in the semi-final against Mexico was the last straw in a repetitive situation that has been taking place since our team’s first game,” read a release from the Panamanian Football Federation. “It’s imperative that these changes are made in order to move forward and take football back to being a clean game.”

Memes critical of CONCACAF and FIFA have exploded on social media.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at

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Jorge Barquero

Get rid of Univision

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Dan Gibson

Any person — who has lived in Latin America for any length of time — understands — the entire government system is corrupt and rift with payoffs, etc etc — along with the judicial system — the attorneys — the notaries — the police — so — to expect the number one sport — to not be ”suspect” would be a stretch —

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stewart hayes

We know that officials make errors and permanently change the outcome of games as a result. It is about time that video challenges be added to soccer as they are in the NFL. Just how this should be done would require careful planning to prevent interfering with the game as little as possible. When everyone can see the errors made and the referees are unable to take back a decision they end up looking like fools which is certainly not good for the game.

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