Christine Sinclair's Historic Hat-Trick Will Live On as One of Canada's Proudest Olympic Moments

How sad that such a spectacular performance on such a huge stage is being overshadowed by the terrible calls made by an inexperienced and intimidated referee. Christiana Pedersen of Norway may have set the respectability of the sport back 20 years, it was a sad day for the sport of women soccer. But it was also a sad and infuriating day for Canada's team and millions of its fans.

In a post-game interview Sinclair said, "We feel like we didn't lose, we feel like it was taken from us. It's a shame in a game like that that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started." To another question she added, "In an important match it's a disappointment that the referee had such an impact on it. We feel cheated." Judging from the many comments and emails to The Mud Report in these last hours most of Canada agrees with Christine.

Not just Canadians, many Americans have agreed that the referee blew it including Kate Markgraf, a 3 time US Olympian who played in 3 FIFA Women's World Cup final tournaments, who said today she has seen this call made exactly ONCE in her entire career, back in 2002, in an EPL match. Soccer has had more than its share of scandals lately in Europe especially in Norway where the money generated by gambling has had a huge corrupting influence. Many writers and commenters also see the corrupting influence of Olympic sponsorship money as the causative agent here too. They're saying that the agenda from the IOC is clear. USA v Japan final, at all costs and the ref knew this. The US TV audience is where the money is, the big TV dollars from Mc Donald's and Coke Cola. They say it was never about what is right or fair or the advance of The Beautiful Game. It was about profit.

Many also have read Abby Wambach's post-game comments about how she followed the referee up-field 10-12 times counting off the seconds that the Canadian goal-keeper was taking to kick away the ball. The Americans who read this see it as Wambach using her brains and experience. The Canadians see it as an obvious example of how the Americans intimidated the inexperienced Pedersen into making those back-to-back terrible calls. Maybe it's naive, but it sure seems more plausible that an inexperienced amateur referee, under such huge pressure, could be intimidated by the powerful American team than that the IOC, no matter how much Coke and Mickey D's wanted it, would try to.

Some of the comments and emails The Mud Report has received about yesterday's game have been frightening. It's been educational to learn just how demented some people are on both sides of the Canada-US border. It's sad and it pisses me off too that all the years of hard work put in by the member's of the Canadian Women's Olympic Soccer Team have been diminished to such a degree by the actions of one inept referee but it would be far sadder if anyone ever acted out their paranoid violent fantasies because of the results of a game. Come on people, it's not war-starvation-genocide-ecocide or any other-cide, it's a game.