Caniggia sent off without kicking ball

Published Jun 12, 2002


Miyagi, Japan - Claudio Caniggia, who missed the 1990 World Cup final in Rome through suspension, was sent off on Wednesday for swearing at the referee without having kicked a ball in his third finals tournament.

"I shouted 'son of a bitch' at him and I think he heard some protests," Caniggia said, implying he did not believe referee Ali Bujsaim had understood his heated remark during Argentina's 1-1 draw with Sweden that put them out of the tournament.

Bujsaim surprised the crowd when he approached the Argentine bench and showed Caniggia the red card near the end of the first half of the Group F match in Miyagi.

One of the other members of the Argentine squad started heading for the dressing room in place of Caniggia but officials insisted Caniggia was the one who left the pitch.

The Argentines on the bench had leapt to their feet in unison to protest when Bujsaim waved play on after Ariel Ortega fell as he was robbed of the ball near the touchline.

Caniggia, who missed the 1998 finals but played in the 1990 and 1994 tournaments scoring four goals, was on the bench for the first time after recovering from a knee injury.

In Italy in 1990, having helped Diego Maradona's Argentine defending champions reach the final against West Germany, the winger was suspended for a second booking for deliberate handball during their semi-final against Italy.

Caniggia said there would be an inquest into the team's performance back home after their premature exit from a tournament they were tipped to win.

"Argentina were candidates (for the title). A lot of things are going to be said in Argentina."

Related Topics: