Seedorf baffled after odd red card
SAO PAULO (AP)
Clarence Seedorf was surprised at a referee's decision to send him off for leaving the field the wrong way after being substituted in a Brazilian match.
The Dutch midfielder was heading toward his team's bench in stoppage time of Botafogo's 2-1 win over Madureira in the Rio de Janeiro state championship on Sunday when the referee stopped him and pointed toward the nearest sideline to save time. But Seedorf refused, prompting the first yellow card.
As the referee was putting the card back in his pocket, Seedorf turned around and sprinted toward the bench again, upsetting the official further and leading to the second yellow and eventual red card.
''Why can't I go out the other way?'' the 37-year-old Seedorf asked. ''I didn't understand anything.''
Referee Philip Georg Bennet said in his post-match report that Seedorf described his request to leave the field through the near sideline a joke, and that the player said he would leave ''anywhere he wanted.''
Botafogo coach Oswaldo Oliveira lamented the referee's decision.
''Seedorf is shaken by what happened,'' he said.
Earlier in the match, the Brazilian referee made another controversial decision, reversing his own penalty call for Botafogo. Seedorf was set to take the spot kick when Bennet took the ball away, saying he was later advised by a linesman that a Botafogo player was offside.
The red card came after Seedorf had set up Botafogo's first goal and scored the second in what was the second stage of the Rio state championship.
The veteran midfielder helped Botafogo win the Guanabara Cup, the tournament's first stage, earlier this month for his first title since moving to Brazil last year.
It was only the second time in his career that Seedorf was sent off. The first time was when he played for AC Milan.
Seedorf came to Botafogo as one of the biggest transfers by a foreign player to Brazil. He won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, with Real Madrid in 1998 and with Milan in 2003 and 2007. The midfielder played at the 1998 World Cup with the Netherlands, plus the 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championships.