Jeff Paulus Criticizes Referee Decisions in Canadian Championship
Update: Jeff Paulus has publicly apologized for his post-game comments, stating that he does not blame the refereeing for FC Edmonton’s defeat in the Canadian Championship, and was not intending to shift any blame for the 3-2 aggregate defeat.
For the second time in his career, Jeff Paulus believes an injustice was done to his FC Edmonton side in Canadian Championship action. He may just have a point.
When The Eddies fell 3-1 in the first leg of its Canadian Championship match against York9 FC, some late-game drama erupted when Tomi Ameobi chested the ball past Nathan Ingham to score his club’s second goal. Moments later, joy turned to outrage when the referee nullified the goal, indicating that Ameobi had impeded on Ingham. The score went back to 3-1.
When the replay is shown, Ameobi’s goal looks legitimate: it probably should have stood.
The Eddies struggled to make up for the two goal deficit in the second leg, firing off 16 shots with only three ending up on target. Of those three, the only one to go in was a last-gasp goal from Mele Temguia. While it won FC Edmonton the match, the club lost the second round on an aggregate scoreline of 3-2. If Ameobi’s first leg goal had stood, Temguia’s goal would have been a series winner.
Instead, the club’s 2019 Canadian Championship venture is over.
Paulus wasn’t done yet, though. He specifically asked members of the media to ask him about the referee. As reported by Canadian Premier League contributor Steve Sandor, The Eddies boss wasn’t in the mood to mince words:
“That decision not to award the second goal has put us out of the Canadian Championship. So, now, just like I got an apology five years ago, whatever it was, when the referee made a bad decision in the Montreal Impact game, do I get an apology this time?”Jeff Paulus, FC Edmonton head coach
Eddies fans will wince recalling the 2014 matchup between FC Edmonton, then of the NASL, and the Montreal Impact. After winning the first-leg 2-1, the Eddies came moments away from a historic victory in the second leg: while trailing 3-2, away goal differential would mean FC Edmonton would advance at the final whistle. Then, referee Drew Fischer incorrectly award a penalty to Montreal in the 95th minute.
You can guess what happened next.
Had another questionable referee call not ended his side’s first foray into the Voyageurs Cup as a CPL team, he would have had a direct chance of revenge against the Impact. Fate had other ideas.
Making things even more convoluted was a no-call penalty decision in the second leg, where Oumar Diouck went down after a challenge from Luca Gasparotto. While some like Kurt Larson felt it was a clear-cut penalty, others like Terry Dunfield disagreed. Still, there was room for contention.
At the end of the day, it will be Jim Brennan’s York9 FC side who takes on the Montreal Impact this July. With the second round of the Canadian Championship now coming to a close, every team that had a first round bye has now crashed out of the competition.
Paulus knows that this kind of referee criticism will be sure to garner a fine from the league, and he’s fine with that. “I’ll pay the fine”, he says. He just wants to make sure the CSA knows the gravity of referee mistakes.
Source: Canadian Premier League