MLS Referee Removed After Posting Photo in Miami Jersey Raises Concerns – News18

Published By: Siddarth Sriram

Last Updated: March 03, 2024, 12:08 IST

United States of America (USA)

Lionel Messi for Inter Miami (AP Photo)

A spokesman for PRO confirmed to ESPN that “Referee Guiherme Ceretta was removed from the game due to a potential conflict.”

Major League Soccer’s refereeing body replaced the match official for Inter Miami’s home game with Orlando City on Saturday after pictures of him in a Miami jersey appeared online.

Referee Guiherme Ceretta was replaced by Jaime Herrera for the fixture by the Professional Referees Organization (PRO).

A spokesman for PRO confirmed to ESPN that “Referee Guiherme Ceretta was removed from the game due to a potential conflict.”

The Miami jersey has become the biggest selling shirt in MLS after Lionel Messi joined the club in July.

The Argentine was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s Florida derby against Orlando. Both Messi and Luis Suarez scored two goals each as Inter Miami turned on the style hammering Orlando City 5-0.

Florida rivals Orlando finished second in the Eastern Conference last season and have been considered contenders for this season’s MLS Cup but they were outclassed by Miami from the outset.

Suarez was substituted in the 67th minute, leaving the field to applause after a performance that will have put defenders across the league on notice.

The Uruguayan had lacked sharpness and match fitness in his first two outings. Still, the prolific 37-year-old top scorer for Gremio in Brazil last season put aside any doubts about his continuing ability in the final third.

MLS’s regular referees are currently locked out by PRO after talks broke down over a new collective contract.

The Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) rejected an offer from PRO and the league began last month with replacement referees from outside the PSRA’s ranks.

Replacement officials have worked the first three weeks of MLS matches after the league and the Professional Soccer Referees Association could not reach a collective bargaining agreement. With the lockout ongoing, the Professional Referee Organization was handling officials’ assignments for the league.

The replacement pool used during the work stoppage features retired officials as well as referees that work in third and fourth divisions.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)