June 24, 2015 / 3:01 AM / 4 years ago

Wambach apologizes for referee comments

EDMONTON (Reuters) - United States striker Abby Wambach has apologized for her suggestion the referee targeted certain American players for yellow cards in her team’s Womens World Cup game against Colombia on Monday.

Jun 22, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; United States forward Abby Wambach (20) runs down a ball in the box against Colombia defender Angela Clavijo (13) during the first half in the round of sixteen in the FIFA 2015 women's World Cup soccer tournament at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday both had yellow cards from earlier in the tournament and after being booked by French referee Stephanie Frappart they will now be suspended for Friday’s quarter-final against China

“I don’t know if they were yellows. It seemed like she was purposefully giving those to the players she knew were sitting on yellows,” Wambach told reporters after the 2-0 victory in which she missed a penalty.

“I don’t know if it was just a psychological thing, who knows?”

In an interview with Fox Sports television on Tuesday, Wambach said she was sorry for the comments.

“I was asked my opinion about whether those yellow cards were just and for me, I am not in the referee’s head and that is something I definitely take ownership of and apologize for, because I don’t know what the referee is thinking,” said the 35-year-old striker, who has scored a record 183 goals in 245 appearances for the U.S.

“She is doing the very best job she can, so are the players, we are all trying to do our very best.

“That is what I feel bad about, that is what I think was taking a little bit wrong in what I said, because I don’t know what she was thinking and nobody can.

“For me, I have the utmost respect for all the referees, who are refereeing these games and all the players because this is such a big event.

“No way did I intend to offend her and my biggest apology is if it was offensive in any way.”

FIFA have not responded to Wambach’s original comments.

(Story refiled to fix typo in headline)

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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