Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe have taken dim views of the refereeing during the United States’ 2-0 win over Colombia in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
After Team USA advanced Monday night in Edmonton, Wambach and Rapinoe suggested in an interview with USA TODAY that referee Stephanie Frappart might have issued yellow cards to Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday for soft fouls in order to prevent them from playing in the quarterfinals.
Rapinoe and Holiday had received yellow cards in previous games, and the ones Frappart gave them in USA-Colombia triggered an automatic one-game suspension per Women’s World Cup rules.
“It’s definitely a great question,” Wambach said when asked if Frappart targeted Rapinoe and Holiday. “I don’t know if they were yellows. Who knows?
“It seemed like she was purposefully giving those yellows to the players she knew were sitting on yellows. I don’t know if it was just a psychological thing. Who knows?”
Frappart booked Holiday in the 17th minute on her first foul of the game. Holiday committed four more fouls in the ensuing 80-plus minute without receiving another yellow card.
Rapinoe received a yellow card in the 41st minute after committing her fourth foul of the opening period. Rapinoe admits Frappart might have booked her for an accumulation of fouls but says some of the contact didn’t warrant the French official’s intervention.
“I think I got it for an accumulation of calls, all of which were questionable, I felt like,” Rapinoe said. “I guess you could say I accumulated all those fouls, so that’s worth the yellow card. But (Holiday) got the yellow card on her very first foul of the game, so I didn’t think that was that fair.”
Rapinoe and Holiday have been essential components of Team USA’s midfield during the World Cup. Team USA will miss Rapinoe’s quality and industry in the wide areas. The absence of Holiday’s balancing presence in the center will pose fresh issues for head coach Jill Ellis, whose problem-solving skills will be tested Friday when the United States faces China in the quarterfinals.
Thumbnail photo via Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports Images