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Referee withdraws redcard

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There was a drama on Sunday during the Liberia-Lesotho match, when Center Referee Tohouegnon Gustave flashed a red card at Nkau Lerotholi, a Lesotho forward after one of his teammates, a defender, brought down a Liberian forward Sam Chaplay Kollie in the visitors’ 18 yard box before immediately withdrawing same and urging the player to stay on.

The team of referees, which includes Dina Bienvenu, Houedin Bougiasar and Igue Brice, all came from Benin, with the exception of the Match Commissioner Layrea Louis from Ghana.  This is the first ever incident to be witnessed here during a major international competition, as such incident in many instances can only be reversed following a post-match investigation.

Lerotholi had no part to play in the foul that initiated the red card, but had come running from the top to confront the referee, prompting the match official to issue him a first yellow card, followed by the red.

But Gustave immediately withdrew the red after he pulled out his notebook and found out that the yellow was Lerotholi’s first card. The decision was not clear to the home team, when the referee made the correction, allowing Lerotholi to stay on the field of play up to the 90 minute. Speaking in a most match interview, Liberian Goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman said for a referee to give a red card and “revoke it” is a new thing for Liberia football.

However, he expressed confidence that the Lone Star of Liberia better chance of qualifying from her zone to get at the level of the competition for 2015.  Liberia struggled to win 1-0 against poor travelers Lesotho in the first round first leg match of the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium or ATS Sunday. The match showed how far the Lone Star seems to be lacking behind in contemporary football.

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