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August 5, 2009 at 6:19 PM

Commissioner Garber on MLS officials

I asked Don Garber, in light of some officiating calls in Sounders FC games and the comments from many of you, about what can be done about improving league officials.
He said the comments from Sounders FC fans “speak to the passion” that they have for their team.
“There are challenges with officiating in specific games all over the world. I mean, the Champions League final, where clearly the officiating was somewhat controversial in a game involving two of the best teams in the world competing in probably the most important tournament in the world. It’s one of the things that’s part of the DNA of this sport…I think our our officials are far better than people give them credit for. When we review all the matches, for the most part, the rates of the grades that officials get are pretty high.”
“That being said, officials aren’t always right, and they make mistakes. They’re human. It’s part of that drives the water cooler talk for our sport. FIFA governs the officials worldwide. U.S. Soccer governs them here in the United States. It’s not a closed system like the NBA or the NHL where we can hire our own officials. That’s not something that the governing body will allow us to do. And we just have to continue like we do with the league, improving as much as we can. But I think it’s part of the dynamic in the sport that makes it so passionate that people feel the way they do about officials.”

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