Argentinian FIFA Referee Diego Abal caused a storm in a match played last weekend by awarding a goal after the players had stopped for an offside flag. He was in charge of the Primera Division clash between San Lorenzo and Colon in Buenos Aires and sparked ugly scenes on the pitch by awarding a goal in controversial circumstances.
Colon were looking for an equaliser with just over 20 minutes left, but their latest attack seemed to fizzle out when winger Federico Higuain was flagged for offside on the right touchline. With the assistant referee's flag raised, the players stopped and began walking upfield for an expected free-kick. But Higuain had already crossed before he realised this and Colon striker Ariel Garce tapped the incoming ball home without any hope that it would be awarded as a goal. Abal saw things differently and overruled the AR Julio Fernandez. He decided that Higuain was not offside, allowed play to continue and then pointed to the centre spot to indicate that Garce's strike would stand. It was enough to earn Colon a 1-1 draw. Furious San Lorenzo players surrounded the referee to argue their case, to no avail. The San Lorenzo fans attacked Abal, who took an hour and a half to leave the stadium, with police escorting him home.
Former World Cup referees Horacio Elizondo and Angel Sanchez, two of the leading referees in the last quarter century in Argentina, publicly expressed their views on the play: Abal was wrong. He admitted his error in a meeting with members of the Referees Committee and was suspended. After having been appointed last year to the U-17 World Cup, Diego Abal has been regarded as Argentina’s candidate for the next FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Source: Yahoo Sports