by BC Soccer Web
It’s often been said in soccer that the best referee is the one you never notice. That old adage may be ringing in the head of Costa Rica’s Henry Bejarano this week. His public compliments for Honduras and his native Costa Rica have cost him a World Cup qualifying assignment for his entire crew of Costa Rican officials.
A FIFA International referee since 2011, Bejarano was assigned to the upcoming World Cup Qualifier between Canada and Honduras at BC Place on November 13. As first reported by Some Canadian Guys Writing About Soccer, the referee was less than subtle when talking with a reporter from Diez, a major sports news portal from Honduras. He allegedly spoke about Jorge Luis Pinto, the Honduran manager, and was positive about the country’s prospects for qualifying for Russia 2018. The Canadian discovery of this news piece appears to have led to the termination of his crew’s assignment to the match.
On Monday, Bejarano and Oscar Alfaro, President of the Costa Rican FA’s Officiating Commission, denied he made the statements in the report. Speaking to a Costa Rican radio station, Alfaro said “Talking to Henry, he tells me he never gave those statements … He must now defend himself and prove to FIFA that he did not. And the appointment itself is eliminated, “.
Henry Bejarano is no stranger to Canada. He was in Vancouver in September as the fourth official for the Whitecaps’ 1-0 win over Honduran side CD Olimpia in the Concacaf Champions League. He was also in charge of the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League Final in Montreal, where the Impact fell to Club America 4-2 back in April. The November 13 match would have been his first World Cup Qualifier, and his first match that involved the Canadian National Team.