Monday, March 24, 2008

How does the thought of Brian Ching getting brained with a D battery strike you?

According to MLS Rumors there was a spot of unpleasantness at the Saprissa-Atlante match last week and Atlante has apparently filed a protest with CONCACAF that could get the Costa Rican side a stadium ban in their semifinal series against Dynamo.

Check out this video and see if this doesn't get the blood to boiling. In the first here (again thanks to MLS Rumors) a security guard gets into a scuffle with Atlante's keeper and other players. Now imagine if this were to happen to Pat Onstad and Eddie Robinson:

Now check out this one where Atlante defender Daniel Garcia gets hit in the right eyebrow (towards the end of the clip) with an object thrown from the stands and has his head bandaged. His...right...eyebrow!

According to the Medio Tiempo report referenced above, Atlante is alleging that Garcia got hit with a roll of coins, that there were non-accredited people on the field, that fans were throwing screws, batteries, etc. on the field, as well as bottles and cans (one of which you can see in the video), and that all of this started even before the game when the Colts were getting off the bus and heading into the stadium.

Now all of this is in a Saprissa win! Imagine what would happen if Dynamo goes down there int he second leg and beats those guys. If this were Europe the incidents there would draw an immediate stadium ban with a possible eventual ban from UEFA competition for a period of years! But of course, as we all know, CONCACAF is not UEFA and Jack Warner is no Michel Platini. Still, the prospect of a fan-caused injury to an MLS player, possibly a serious one, and the huge anti-soccer press that the incident would incite here in the US is no small matter. CONCACAF needs to deal with this situation seriously and with a hammer.

And to make matters worse, this is not the first time Deportivo Saprissa has been involved in a match ban. Check out this piece from the Tico Times in 2006:

Use of Ricardo Saprissa Stadium
Suspended for International Games

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) suspended the use of Ricardo Saprissa stadium in Tibás, north of San José, for international games as it investigates fights that broke out after a March 29 game between Costa Rica 's Saprissa and Mexico 's Toluca teams.

The Costa Rican Soccer Federation (FEDEFUTBOL) reported yesterday on its Web site that it received notification from FEDEFUTBOL secretary Chuck Blazer that the stadium is temporary unusable.

“The measure is being taken as a result of disturbances during the Saprissa-Toluca game March 29,” the statement said, indicating that the Saprissa stadium cannot be used for international games until the violent incident has been investigated.

Last March 29, a controversial goal by Toluca enraged Saprissa players, coaches and fans when the goal eliminated the team from the CONACAF Championship Cup. Fans threw objects into the field and a few raided the field and tried to attack the umpires.

Of course, it is always hazardous to predict Jack Warner's actions, but I would rate the following actions in descending levels of probable:

1. Nothing is done and the game is played at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.
2. The game is played at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa without fans.
3. DS gets a stadium ban and the game is played at a neutral site.
4. The game is played here at Robertson Stadium.

And this is of course in inverse order of my preferences. Still, if something serious happens, it will be CONCACAF's fault.

1 comment:

The Manly Ferry said...

Hate to post an unrelated comment, but I've got another blogger interested in joining the MLS fantasy league playtherapy/martek set up. I was going to email either or both of you, but it seems I didn't file your email addresses under, any chance you can drop me another line so I can get the other blogger up and running?