Following the fiasco both during and after Wednesday’s 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal between Panama and Mexico, the Panamanian Football Federation (FPF) has called the tournament’s officiating “insulting and embarrassing.”
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The FPF, in a statement on Thursday, has also demanded the removal of CONCACAF’s referee selection panel, accused the match officials of favoring Mexico “in a vulgar and shameless way,” and stated in no uncertain terms that “it was clear and everyone is witness to this, that the Panamanian team was superior to that of Mexico.”
Wednesday’s semifinal was fraught with contentious decisions by referee Mark Geiger from minute three — when Mexico forward Carlos Vela was shown only a yellow card after clearly intentionally elbowing Anibal Godoy in the stomach while waiting for a set piece to be taken — to minute 25 — when Luis Tejada was sent off for a less severe blow during the run of play to Maza Rodriguez — to minute 89 — when Mexico were controversially awarded their second late penalty in as many games.
“It is imperative that these changes are in place to carry out the most important football maxim: Fair Play,” said the FPF’s statement. The Panamanians also stuck up for their Central American neighbors, Costa Rica, who they claim were also severely wronged by poor officiating at the benefit of Mexico.
Mexico will face Jamaica in the Gold Cup final on Sunday, while Panama and the US national team will meet with third-place honors on the line on Saturday.