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I don't often blames losses on officiating. And I'm not doing that here, either, particularly since there was no loss to speak of, and sure, both the Italian and United States sides have complaints. But there is plenty of controversy concerning red-card happy official Jorge Larrionda of Uruguay. As pointed out by commenter BillyPaultzRules, Jorge's Wikipedia page has already been updated to reflect today's events

Larrionda was also suspended back in 2002 by the Uruguayan Football Association for unspecified "irregularities." No one seems to know exactly what they were, but changing the way he officiated from one minute to another, and giving out red cards at hugely inappropriate times seem like pretty good guesses. I guess four years is long enough for his credibility to be restored.

Also, I got an e-mail this morning from Deadspin reader Kristopher, who was in Kaiserslautern today, pointing out this little tidbit about Larrionda:

I heard a rumor on that our referee for the evening will be Jorge Larrionda from Uruguay. The good news: we share a birthday. The bad news: under "general interests" he lists only "breeding animals." When not working one of the most stressful, thankless jobs in the world, Larrionda relaxes by watching animals have sex. Just thought you should know.


Well, if Marcelo Balboa has his way, he'll have plenty of time for that. Balboa, admirably taking a stand, said that Larrionda should not be permitted to call another game in this tournament. Personally, I hope they send him home and he gets caught between a couple of sexually aggressive water buffaloes.

And by the way, Deadspin commenters: You've been fantastic. Thanks for holding it down.

Jorge Larrionda [Wikipedia]
World Cup 2002 Officials [Soccerphile]
US battle to draw [ONE sport]
I Suspect Mafia Involvement [Deadspin]