'Prendy' denies apology claims
Nodley Wright, Staff Reporter
REFEREE Peter Prendergast yesterday dismissed claims by former Belgian
captain Marc Wilmots that he had apologised for an error made in
a second round match in which Brazil defeated Belgium 2-0.
had put the ball in the back of the net in the 36th minute but Prendergast
ruled the Belgian had fouled Brazilian defender Rocque Junior before
heading the ball past goalkeeper Marcos. In a number of reports
which appeared later that day, Wilmots stated an apology issued
to him by Prendergast was no consolation.
halftime, the referee came up to me and said 'sorry'," explained
Wilmots who made his debut against Romania in May 1990 and scored
28 goals in 70 matches.
had seen the incident again on TV and admitted he got it wrong but
this is no consolation to me," Wilmots, who subsequently announced
his resignation from international football, was quoted as saying.
knew straightaway that I had not done anything wrong. But it is
another example of how the big teams always seem to have the luck
on their sides," Wilmots continued.
Prendergast: "This Wilmots' claim is outrageous to say the
from being repentant, Prendergast stood by his decision which he
said was backed fully by the FIFA Referees Committee.
decision I made regarding that disallowed goal in the Brazil/Belgium
game was fully endorsed as the correct decision by FIFA Referees
Committee," said the man who is the first Jamaican referee
to officiate at the World Cup finals. He is also the first Caribbean
referee to do more than one match at the finals.
television replay from directly behind the goal clearly showed that
the Belgian player pushed the Brazilian player from behind before
heading the ball in the goal," he said.
was also pointed out by Prendergast that the infringement committed
by Wilmots was a push which did not take place at the time of heading
the ball but "just before in order to get enough space for
was also clear from the reviews done of the game, Prendergast said,
was that "the whistle was blown before the ball entered the
if to confirm their satisfaction with his performance, Prendergast
who got high marks for his first game involving Russia and Tunisia
said his marks for his second game "were even more".
Prendergast was not among the 16 referees and 16 assistant referees
chosen for the remaining finals games.