The highlight of the Men’s Hockey at the Winter Olympics in Sochi after the first round is the shootout victory by The USA over Russia on Saturday, but it did not come without a bit of controversy after a third period goal by was disallowed and now protests are underway at the U.S. embassy.
The Associated Press writes, demonstrators gathered in Moscow to protest the disallowed goal with five minutes left in regulation that put Russia up 3-2.
“Protesters, organized by a Kremlin party youth group, donned Russian hockey jerseys and shouted, “Make soap out of the ref!” — a common expression among Russian soccer fans. Wielding a banner with a photograph of the American official, Brad Meier, many of the protesters used cheese graters to grate soap into buckets.”
The goal was not allowed after the net was knocked off its moorings seconds before the puck got past U.S. goaltender Jonathan Quick and found the back of the net.
The next day would see Russian newspapers and talk shows dedicate their coverage to conspiracy theories suggesting the game was fixed because the referee was an American.
President Vladimir Putin told Russian state news agencies Monday that the game “should have been stopped” if the goal was out of place but asked for fans to show sportsmanship.
“Even if the judge was wrong, we mustn’t stick labels on anybody,” he said. “We can’t forget that sport takes courage, but also luck.”
Thankfully, Putin can be the voice of reason for a change.
A potential rematch exists for the Russians and Americans to meet in the gold medal game if each team can win out.