Valderrama expelled for taunting

Updated: 04 November 2007 11:17 IST

Valderrama was ejected from a Colombian league match on Wednesday after waving cash in the face of a referee for calling a penalty .

Valderrama expelled for taunting
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Colombia:

Colombian soccer hero Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama was known for his voluminous hair as well as his deft passing. Add inflamatory taunts to the list.

As the assistant coach of Atletico Junior, Valderrama was ejected from a Colombian league match on Wednesday after waving cash in the face of a referee for calling a penalty that helped end his team's hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.

The scandalous incident, which was condemned Thursday by Colombia's soccer federation, touched off riots that injured 10 fans and resulted in the arrests of at least a dozen more in Junior's stadium in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla.

The bushy-haired Valderrama lost his temper after referee Oscar Julian Ruiz called a penalty against Junior in the final minutes of the first half, in which Junior was leading America of Cali 1-0.

After Jorge Rojas converted for America, Valderrama rushed from the sidelines and began shouting obscenities at Ruiz, eventually pulling from his pocket a $50,000 peso ($25) bill that he used to taunt the referee with for allegedly taking bribes from the visiting squad.

An irrate Valderrama, who captained Colombia at three World Cups during its heyday last decade, had to be escorted off the field by a dozen riot police while Junior's fans attacked America's supporters with sticks and other debris.

America went on to win 3-1, ending Junior's chances of qualifying for the league's eight-team playoffs.

Valderrama was unrepentant following the match, calling Ruiz a "thief" and saying he stole the match from Junior.

Ruiz, the only Colombian referee called up for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, was shocked by Valderrama's actions.

Topics : Football
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