FIFA removed Costa Rican referee Henry Bejarano from the World Cup qualifier Canada - Honduras for alleged comments about the Honduras team's chances to qualify to the World Cup and their coach.
After his appointment was announced by CONCACAF, referee Bejarano gave an interview to Diez, a major sports news portal from Honduras, where he allegedly spoke about the Honduran coach Jorge Luis Pinto and was positive about the country’s prospects for qualifying to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. "I am spontaneous, very happy off the field, but very strict on the field, although I like to have a dialogue with players. I have personality and can always take courageous decisions", said the referee a few days ago. "Pinto is a great professional, but a little grumpy. I hope that both Honduras and my country, Costa Rica, will go to the World Cup; we are brothers, I wish you the best of luck!", allegedly said Bejarano in his interview to Diez.
Henry Bejarano, 37, has been refereeing in the Costa Rican first division since 2001 and received his FIFA badge in 2011. He has been selected as a candidate for the 2018 World Cup and this year went to New Zealand for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Bejarano was also in charge of the second leg of the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League Final in Canada, where Montreal Impact fell to Club America 4-2, back in April. The Canada – Honduras match would have been his first World Cup qualifier and his first match that involved Canada or Honduras.
According to the Costa Rican Referees Committee, Bejarano denies having made such statements and will have to give explanations to FIFA, but, in the meantime, his appointment was removed. Henry Bejarano, who was initially appointed along with their countrymen Leonel Leal, Octavio Jara and Walter Quesada, was replaced by the Jamaican referee Kevin Morrison and his team.
Source: Diez / La Prensa