While the Seattle Sounders lead Major League Soccer with 12 red cards, some of them have come undeserved at the hands of referee Ricardo Salazar. On Saturday, Obafemi Martins was the latest Sounder to fall victim to Salazar’s rather soft red card calls.
Martins’ foul that was given a straight red card for occurred in the midfield and with no hateful or malicious intentions. His feet got tangled and his boot struck the face of his opponent. The contact to the face was incidental.
In soccer, a red card is given because of the following reasons: a violent foul, violent conduct, spitting at anyone or another player, a deliberate handball to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any non-goalkeeper in his own penalty area, committing a foul that denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, using offensive or abusive language and lastly, receiving two yellow cards in the same game.
Only one criterion above could possibly be used to defend Salazar’s decision to give Martins a red card: he committed violent conduct and deserved a red. However, after seeing the play only once like Salazar did, it was easy to see that Martins’ legs were tangled and he didn’t stomp into his opponents’ face.
Salazar has given improper red cards before, and this unfortunately will not be the last time either. Hopefully for the Sounders’ sake, Salazar and Seattle are not on the same field again this season, but it will unfortunately happen.
Seattle is allowed to appeal the red card, but they are not telling the media whether or not they have gone through the appeals process. We will know for sure whether or not they did in a day or two. If they did, we will hear MLS’ decision about overturning the red card. So far this season, MLS has overturned one of Salazar’s red cards given to a Seattle player.
I want to know your thoughts. Do you think Martins deserved the red card, or did Salazar give yet another soft red card? Comment below or interact via social media.