The Colombian soccer player, Lady Andrade, who was accused of “sucker punching” Abby Wambach in the eye on Saturday is being forced to sit out her team’s next two games. She denies that the punch was intentional (she says it “was just a normal part of the game”), but instead of defending her game, she’s focused on her message that the U.S. should be disciplined…just for being the U.S.
Wambach joked about her appearance and shared a photo of her black eye on twitter over the weekend:
But offline, she’s asked that FIFA discipline Andrade for the injury–video footage of the game shows her punching Wambach in the face, causing Wambach to fall to the ground in pain, but no officials took note until after the game.
Andrade’s response has been glib; she’s said through an interpreter that “nothing happened,” and “it was just a normal part of the game.” She claims they were both running, and she happened to have her hands in the air as Wambach ran across her and they collided.
But in response to reports that Wambach wants FIFA to discipline her for foul play, she 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.
Andrade isn’t the first to note that the U.S. often has an advantage over other teams–and I don’t necessarily disagree with her (although I’m not familiar enough with soccer to say whether her claim that FIFA always rules in favor of the U.S. team). But punching one of the most popular U.S. players probably wasn’t a good move (and a hard punch to someone’s face seems an unlikely result of ‘having your hands in the air while someone’s running’). Playing nice isn’t part of the game, and injuries do happen, but…talking trash about your opponents in response to accusations that you didn’t play by the rules isn’t a good show of sportsmanship, either.