New England Soccer Today

League Lifts Ban on Cardenas

Revolution midfielder Fernando Cardenas will be available for selection for Saturday's contest against Vancouver after his red-card suspension and fine was lifted by the league on Tuesday. (Photo: Tony Biscaia/RevsNet)

It turns out that Jay Heaps and his players weren’t the only ones who believed Fernando Cardenas shouldn’t have been tossed from Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake.

Three days after the Colombian midfielder/forward was red carded in the 81st minute, MLS announced that it has rescinded Cardenas’ red-card suspension and fine after it determined that “the referee made an obvious error in the disciplinary sanction.”

According to a league release, a unanimous decision was made by an independent review panel comprised of representatives of the Canadian Soccer Association, the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), and U.S. Soccer to rescind the suspension. The release also referenced that a review of the incident was prompted by an appeal of the referee’s decision from the Revolution organization, which utilized the review process put in place prior to the 2012 regular season.

On Tuesday, Revolution General Manager Michael Burns told that he was aware of the challenges – not to mention the potential consequences – in filing an appeal of Cardenas’ red-card suspension.

“When the red-card appeal process was introduced this off-season, teams knew that there was a high standard for the type of call that would be considered and that there were serious penalties for frivolous challenges,” Burns told “However, in this case, Fernando did not even make contact with the opposing player on Saturday and was still sent off for a ‘serious foul on a tackle.’ We disagreed with the call so vehemently that we felt we had no choice but to appeal.”

Replays of the incident showed that Real Salt Lake center back Jamison Olave planted his right leg under an Cardenas’ legs while the midfielder chased the ball after a heavy touch. Both players fell to the field in pain, but referee Chris Gantar awarded a red card to Cardenas – much to the consternation of an animated Heaps, who was visibly upset the with the call.

“The video confirmed,” Burns said. “And the review panel recognized, Fernando never made contact with the opposing player and his red card was correctly lifted.”

With the suspension rescinded, the midfielder/forward will be available to play in Saturday’s contest against Vancouver at Gillette Stadium.

Earlier in the game, Gantar also awarded a red card to Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson in the 59th minute for a studs-up tackle on Revolution midfielder Clyde Simms. The league has not rescinded the suspension and fine issued to Johnson.


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