The disciplinary committee of world soccer’s governing body is reviewing the hit to the face that left U.S. forward Abby Wambach with a black eye during a game against Colombia at the Olympics.
FIFA spokesman Alex Stone said no update was expected before Monday.
Wambach said she was ”sucker-punched” in the right eye by Lady Andrade in the 39th minute of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Colombia. After the game, Wambach called for FIFA to take action, while Andrade called the play ”an accident.”
The U.S. team did not file a formal complaint against Andrade, but it did contact FIFA about the play.
”I think it’s important that you recognize it,” U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. ”I watched it on video, and I’d say it’s very unusual, playing like that and trying to get her out of the game.
She added: ”That doesn’t belong in the game.”
Wambach, still sporting a shiner, said Sunday she was fine. She’ll be able to play in the Americans’ final group game Tuesday against North Korea.
About the incident, Wambach recalled: ”I’m running toward the goal to get position, and I got sucker-punched. It’s clear. We have it on film, so it’s up to the Olympic committee and FIFA to decide what to do.”
Wambach said Andrade kept on taunting in the second half and attempted another blow to the face – but missed and hit Wambach’s neck instead. When Wambach scored in the 74th minute to make the score 2-0, the achievement felt particularly sweet.
”Absolutely. It’s interesting – you think about yourself and what you would do on the street if somebody were to sucker-punch you,” Wambach said. ”And you have all of the lists of things that you would probably do to retaliate, but this is Olympics and I can’t risk getting a red card, I can’t risk getting a yellow card. We like to call it ‘ice’ – stay ice cold. They’re trying to get me to retaliate, and I’m proud of myself for not doing that.”
Andrade called the play an accident.
”Nothing happened,” she said through an interpreter. ”It was just a normal part of the game. We were both running, she ran across me and we collided. I had my hands in the air. It was an accident.”
Told that Wambach wants Andrade disciplined by the governing bodies, the Colombian said: ”I think they should be, too, because they’re the United States. The whistle always goes in their favor. They were hitting us and hitting us, but there was never a whistle.”