Was Referee at Fault for Waving Off Trainer After Wambach Got Hit in the Head?

Late in a soccer game between the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash, iconic women’s soccer player Abby Wambach got hit in the head by a soccer ball that a teammate was clearing. She fell to the ground in a heap. After a minute or so, she got up and the referee put his hand up to wave off the trainer. Wambach continued play.

The provocative Website Slate.com described the scene and included the video.

It was startling that Wambach, the greatest American female soccer player ever, was not ordered off the field, and that referee Kari Seitz, a veteran of four women’s World Cups and three Olympics, may have actually blocked that from happening. To be fair, no one knows if Wambach said something to dissuade him from doing the right thing.

But what we do know is what happened next.

“Play resumed,” wrote journalist Stefan Fatsis, who attended the game with his daughter. “The Flash moved the ball downfield and, in a last-second attempt to break a 1-1 tie, Wambach tried to score off of a corner kick. Using her head.

“At the final whistle, Wambach dropped to her knees. Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris waved for help. ‘I could tell she was pretty dazed,’ Harris said afterward. ‘I said, “Are you all right?” She was mumbling. That’s not a good sign.’”

Fatsis contacted Roberrt Cantu about the incident, who said it was “absurd” that she wasn’t yanked off the field. At the same time, he said athletes must be responsible, too. “Athletes have to know the symptoms and be willing to pull themselves out when they have them,” he said.

To see the article and video, click here: http://slate.me/15PcrD8

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