Referee suspended for playing 42 minutes of added time in bizarre scenes
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A referee in Bolivia has been hit with a suspension after allowing an incredible 42 minutes of added time to be played.
Atletico Palmaflor and Blooming were the two teams involved in the Bolivian Primera Division match, which finished 3-2 to Palmaflor.
Jonathan Canete and Gilbert Alvarez scored early on to see Palmaflor crusing 2-0 up, but Blooming fought back – although they were given plenty of time to do so.
Referee Julio Fernando Gutierrez and his five assistants are reported to have taken 17 minutes to decide if Gaston Rodriguez Maeso’s 86th minute strike, to pull it back to 2-1, was offside. They eventually decided the goal should stand, but the action wasn't even nearly finished.
42 MINUTES OF ADDED TIME 😯— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) March 16, 2023
Bolivian top flight referee crew are suspended after adding 42 MINUTES to a game Monday. The ref added the time due to a video review of a goal and a brawl. In the end, Palmaflor beat Blooming 3-2. Winning goal in the 38th minute of added time. 🇧🇴 pic.twitter.com/eoTJU1hb45
Even with that enormous delay – which puts some of the VAR checks in the Premier League into context – it was said the teams were expecting a maximum of 20 minutes stoppage time.
Yet the game went on and on, with nearly an extra half of football played, in which Jose Luis Sinisterra equalised for Blooming in the 24th added minute.
Blooming players Cesar Menacho and Miguel Angel Becerra Vaca were both sent off either side of the goal, as well, causing further chaos.
But Palmoflor had the last laugh, making it 3-2 in the 38th minute of added time through a Caneta goal. They certainly felt justice was served after the match, although it seems an investigation is forthcoming into how the officials arrived at such an incredible number of added minutes.
"We are happy for our team's victory against Blooming, despite the suspicious refereeing,” Palmoflor sporting executive Evo Morales said, as per the Daily Star.
"We are sorry about it and ask for a performance review of all the referees who exaggeratedly prolong matches. We would not like to think that they were looking to make our team lose."