Italian and American soccer officials are calling for a full investigation into Uruguayan referee Jorge Larriondaâ€™s calls during todayâ€™s World Cup match between Italy and the U.S. Officials from both countries suspect Hallmark of bribing another official to market their line of World Cup cards.
The first official investigated of fixing games to show Hallmark cards was Mexican referee Mauricio Morales Valle. Video provided evidence that the greeting card and porcelain keepsake maker encouraged him to profile their new World Cup Yellow Cards.
Larrionda issued three red cards and four yellow cards during the match. In each case, he did not use the standard FIFA card, instead displaying one of Hallmarkâ€™s cards. While the first two red cards were obviously merited, the third to Eddie Pope in the second half has people questioning Larriondaâ€™s connections to Hallmark.
Hallmark issued the following statement, â€œWe cannot comment on the investigation. However, we encourage fans to remember Dad with one of our precious World Cup figurines or smelly candles. Heâ€™ll love them!â€
Best Game: Italy v. USA. Duh! I think the Italian team knows the names of US players now . . . it was smart of the guys to wear their â€œHello my name is . . .â€ stickers.
Best ESPN Factoid: Ever notice how Marcelo Balboa keeps saying â€œmuch betterâ€ during the game even though heâ€™s not comparing anything? It turns out heâ€™s talking to the hair stylist brushing his hair during the game. Marcelo is very picky about his mane.
Best face paint:
See that Italy? Thatâ€™s a foul to whine about. Iâ€™ve seen men on fire roll fewer times than a lightly fouled Italian forward.
The Final Whistle: Eddie Johnson on the plane ride back to Hamburg (via USSoccer.com)
â€œI donâ€™t know why you people back in America panicking. What are you panicking for? We got you all!â€
Overall Hasselhoff Rating for the Day: (out of 5)
- Something doesn’t seem right
- Proof Sacha Kljestan attended the Marcelo Balboa Camp
- MLS Offers Additional Income Options for Players and Fans
- EXCLUSIVE: D.C. United Obtains Second Shirt Sponsor