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FIFA looking into Canadian comments following semifinal loss to U.S

FIFA is considering disciplinary action over blistering comments from the Canadian women's soccer team about the refereeing of their 4-3 semifinal loss to the United States at the London Olympics.

FIFA is considering disciplinary action over blistering comments from the Canadian women's soccer team about the refereeing of their 4-3 semifinal loss to the United States at the London Olympics.

Canada's players accused Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen of bias towards the U.S. after their extra-time defeat.

In a rare move, Pedersen penalized Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long after making a save in the 80th minute, awarding the U.S. an indirect free kick in the penalty area.

The law states the keeper should release the ball after six seconds, but it is hardly ever applied in either men's or women's soccer.

While that decision appeared to Canada's team to be harsh, Pedersen then awarded the U.S. a penalty resulting from Megan Rapinoe's free kick. The ball struck the elbow of Canada's Marie-Eve Nault with the player turning away.

The referee was not available to comment but Rune Pedersen, the head of refereeing for the Norwegian FA and a former World Cup referee came to her defence.

"There were two difficult decisions in the match - an indirect free kick to the United States with a subsequent penalty for handball. Those decisions were tough to make and it showed Christiana was not afraid to do what she thought was right. We hope FIFA supports her in these decisions."

FIFA, world soccer's governing body said in a statement: "The disciplinary committee is currently analysing incidents that occurred after the conclusion of the match [between Canada and the U.S.].

"Further information will be provided only after the committee are in possession of all the elements of the case."

Canada's coach John Herdman initially shied away from the controversy but then added: "She [the referee] has got to live with that. We will move on from this. I wonder if she will be able to."

McLeod told reporters: "The referee said I had the ball for 10 seconds. She obviously counted the time I was on the ground with the ball. Once I got to my feet I calculate I only had the ball for five seconds.

"We feel like we got robbed in this game. The referee was very one-sided. I have never known this to happen before in a game, referees never make this kind of decision."

Skipper Christine Sinclair, who scored all three of Canada's goals, added: "When she gave the penalty, she giggled and said nothing, Classy!

"In an important match it's a disappointment the referee had such an impact on it. We feel cheated."

Canada will meet France for the bronze medal on Thursday but Sinclair added: "Maybe the referee will wear a Canadian jersey for this game."

Herdman said his players will respond the proper way in their next game.

"I think they'll just go and play football as long as the referees officiate games, which is their job to do."