AN MLS referee has been manhandled by fuming players in angry scenes from the weekend.
The incident occurred during Sunday’s MLS Cup play-off match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and LAFC.
Vancouver were trailing 1-0 in stoppage time when one of their players was blocked by referee Timothy Ford.
LAFC then went on to score to the fury of the Whitecaps players, although the goal was disallowed.
One of the players had collided with Ford as they went to take a shot following a Vancouver corner.
The collision allowed LAFC to clear the ball and counter, with Carlos Vela teeing up Denis Bouange to roll the ball into an empty net with the goalkeeper caught up the field.
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Ford was immediately surrounded by angry Whitecaps players, who could be seen pushing each other out of the way as they crowded round the official.
Several of the fuming stars appeared to manhandle the official before a VAR review disallowed the goal.
Reacting to the angry scenes on social media, one fan commented: “The ref has got to stop that, he stopped the play.”
Another added: “Absolutely appalling from the referee.”
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Manager Vanni Sartini was also seen raging on the touchline and ripped into Ford during his post-match press conference.
“I don’t understand, to be honest,” he fumed.” Why he didn’t stop [play] because every time that the referee touches the ball… he stops and gives the ball to the team that was in possession of the ball.
“We were in possession of the ball, and we lost possession because of him. I don’t know why he didn’t give us possession immediately.”
The match would end 1-0, with LAFC sealing a series win and advancing to the next round of the play-offs.
Steve Cherundolo’s sides will face either the Seattle Sounders or FC Dallas next for a place in the Western Conference final.