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Forge FC Kyle Bekker

Bekker Fined For Rant On Referees

By on October 17, 2023 0 2249 Views

Forge FC Captain Kyle Bekker has been fined by Canada Soccer for his comments regarding the standard of referees following the club’s loss to Halifax earlier this month.

The veteran CPL midfielder had put Canada Soccer referees on blast, redirecting the very first question of the post-game scrum to criticize referee Michael Venne and the crew who oversaw Halifax’s playoff-clinching win.

“I think the guys wanted to play, and something that we’ve seen over the last five years which is just shocking… the refs are seemingly getting worse and worse. There’s really nothing much else to talk about: you had two teams who wanted to come out and do something. Unbelievable atmosphere here in Halifax, and it’s another game that is just absolutely ruined because the ref wants to make it about themself.”

The Canada Soccer Incident Review Body has deemed that Bekker’s post-game comments constituted improper conduct and/or brought the game into disrepute, handing the midfielder an undisclosed monetary fine.

“Week-in and week-out we see this, and no one talks about it,” Bekker had continued. “It just gets worse. No one holds them accountable. They’ve got a guy at the top who just acts with impunity, he thinks he’s special, comes in to every single team, shakes everyone’s hand, and they just act like they’re bigger than everything else.”

Forge FC Kyle Bekker Mathieu Souare
Photo Credit: David Chant

“It’s crazy. You see it week-in and week-out,” Becker emphasized again. “This isn’t just a Forge thing, by the way. This isn’t because they missed the penalty kick [in the Wanderers match], it happens to both sides. It’s calls throughout the game that they blatantly miss, and then there’s make-up calls every single time. They make it about themselves. They hand out bench yellow cards left and right, for what? What is the point?”

See Also: CPL Commissioner Chimes In On Referees

Speaking on the informal Captain’s Log podcast after the outburst, Bekker had a good laugh at the rant, describing it a ‘nosebleed moment’ and even poking fun at his unexpected vocabularic gusto which saw the word impunity correctly used in the presser.

“I have no idea how I thought of that one. That is wild,” laughed Bekker. “Someone had to have said it in the morning, because there’s no reason why it was even top of mind. I crushed it, didn’t even stumble. Unbelievable.”

The perennial CPL MVP contender reiterated his stance once more on the podcast, describing the match as ‘Make Up Call City’ – and not just in the favour of his side, either.

“Beni gets taken down in the middle of the field, the ref’s right there, and he claims he never saw it. It’s not even that he doesn’t think it’s a foul, he claims he just didn’t see it when he’s right there. Then Ale does the same thing, gets a yellow card immediately. Then it’s the classic make-up call city: they score and it’s not offside, but the ref has already made up his mind that it’ll be offside and calls that back, so Halifax gets screwed over there.”

While club boss Bobby Smyrniotis had implied the officiating was amateur in his own post-game comments, it does not appear that Canada Soccer has tossed a similar fine at the coach of the year nominee – who isn’t the only gaffer to take aim at CPL officiating his fall.

While Bekker hasn’t been pleased with what he’s seen from referees this season, he was all smiles this weekend after scoring to help Forge book a ticket to the club’s fifth straight CPL Final.

The chance at Forge’s fourth league title in five season will take place at Tim Hortons Field this Saturday, October 28 at 6:00PM EST. Interested fans can pick up tickets here.

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