AN El Salvador referee, Vicente Ruiz, is under fire after Jamaican striker Garrick Gordon demanded a public apology after he allegedly racially abused the player during an El Salvador Premier League game playing for Atletico Marte against Alianza last week Sunday.
According to an article published on the website of the La Prensa Grafica newspaper on January 17, Gordon — who led Cornwall College to the 2001 schoolboy football treble and also represented the Montego Bay school in athletics — is demanding a public apology after the referee allegedly called him on two occasions "Black, mother f ...".
The article said the 29 year-old Gordon, who is a regular starter for Atletico Marte after transferring from Vista Hermosa last season, has reported the incident to his club and has sought "diplomatic support".
Gordon told the Observer on Thursday that it was not the first time he was being targeted by the same referee as it happened before while he was playing in a lower division.
'Fast Car' as he was nicknamed due to his speed, told the Observer he was surprised when he heard what Ruiz said to him as he was standing close to him and when he asked him why, Gordon said the official brandished the red card and sent him off the field in the 80th minute.
A second Jamaican, Sean Frazer, was also on the pitch playing for Alianza and was also cautioned by the referee in the 89th.
Meanwhile, Gordon's coach Omar Fausto Vasquez has reportedly supported Gordon's version of what took place, while team manager Romeo Blanco has requested a meeting between the referees, the referee group and the player to verify what happened.
The article pointed out that if Gordon is found to be speaking the truth, Ruiz could be banned for life as his actions goes against FIFA's regulations, which prohibits racism in their 208 associations around the globe.
Humberto Torres, a member of the referees association, is, however, quoted as saying he is not in agreement with the meeting between the referee and the player, but that there would be an investigation into the allegations.
The article also quoted Rafael Salguero, a member of FIFA's executive committee, telling La Prensa Grafica that "racism cannot be accommodated in the field of football".
Meanwhile Rafael Rodriguez, president of the referees association (FESFUT), confirmed that Ruiz was demoted to the second division in 2006 because he had not attained the standard to take charge of matches at the highest level in the Central American country.
Ruiz's return to the top division, the article said, coincided with the arrival of the new arbitration commission headed by Francisco Valenzuela, senior vice-president of the FESFUT.