Yellow card for errant ref

FIFA's removal of the controversial referee who robbed the United States of a legitimate goal might be the spotlight on referees that the world football governing body needs.

Koman Coulibaly was dropped from Fifa's list of referees for the remaining World Cup games after a bad decision that cost the USA a victory against Slovenia.

Coulibaly received a cautionary "yellow card" after being given a poor evaluation by assessors after his decision to disallow Maurice Edu's 86th-minute goal.

Fifa yesterday confirmed that Coulibaly would not play any part in today's or tomorrow's matches. These include USA's crucial Group C finale against the wounded but determined Algeria.

Instead Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere has been picked for the vital match for the Americans. But Coulibaly has not been alone in his miserable judgment.

South Africa also suffered when goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was sent off by referee Massimo Busacca when he went for the ball but touched the toes of an advancing Uruguay striker who was offside. Uruguay scored from the penalty awarded by Busacca, who failed to caution the striker but gave Khune a harsh red card.

Finally, there is the highly questionable performance of French referee Stephane Lannoy, who sent off Brazil's Kaká after some extremely poor handling of their match against Ivory Coast. Kaká was merely protecting himself from a player who had lost his balance and hurtled in the Brazilian's direction.