MLS Official Says Tony Tchani’s Second Yellow Card Was Unwarranted

Posted In News - By Bryan Ashlock On Monday, April 25th, 2011 With 0 Comments

Toronto FC midfielder Tony Tchani received a second yellow card in the 42nd minute of the club’s match with the Columbus Crew over the weekend. Tchani opened the scoring for the home side in the 41st minute then jumped the advertising boards in the northwest corner of BMO Field to celebrate his first Toronto FC goal by jumping into the arms of front-row fans. Since he’d received his first yellow only minutes earlier, the second caution resulted in Tchani’s ejection.

The Cameroonian midfielders caution for the celebration came as a surprise to many, including MLS’s director of league competition, Paul Tamberino, who told the Canadian press this morning, “In my opinion, the referee could have used better judgment here…We want our players to celebrate . . . We want our players to be passionate about their goals, for sure.”

The celebration didn’t involve a prop or the removal of his shirt, simply the leaving of the pitch, which according to FIFA’s Law’s of the game, doesn’t necessarily constitute a caution.

Leaving the field of play to celebrate a goal is not a cautionable offense in itself but it is essential that players return to the field of play as soon as possible.

“It’s ironic that from the time Tony scores the goal and returns back to the field, it’s 15 seconds,” Tamberino said. “It takes the referee 40 seconds to administer the second yellow card.”

This would seem to be just another in a long list of instance of poor officiating that seem to plague the MLS. Unfortunately there’s not much the league can do about it because the officials are governed by the USSF. The MLS continues to push to be recognized as a top league and drawing top players and doing well in continental competitions are great starts, but getting consistently decent officiating should probably be top of that list.

About Bryan Ashlock - Soccer aficionado living in Atlanta. Contributor to Cartilage Free Captain, a Tottenham Hotspur blog on SBNation. Follow me on twitter @BryanAshlock

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