Referee used racist remarks, team says

By By Corbin Godfrey

By Corbin Godfrey

The Utah men’s soccer team was disgusted by what took place on the field Saturday in its home match against Weber State, and it had nothing to do with the fact that the Utes lost 4-0.

The Utes had an unexpected opponent on the field: the referee. Head coach Gilbert Gaertner said that not only was the referee calling the game well outside the boundaries of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association rules, the Utes also received racist remarks from him.

Gaertner said he was furious about the way the referee treated the multicultural Utes, saying that the team received several inappropriate racist comments from him. Gaertner would not give any specifics as to what was said, only that the team will take up the unfortunate incident with the proper authorities.

“It was a very physical game,” Gaertner said. “But we could not fight both the team and the referee.”

After the game, Gaertner filed a lawsuit with the NISOA for the racist remarks.
As far as losing the match, Gaertner blamed himself.

“I assume the responsibility to have put my team in a very offensive formation that was confusing for my players and their defensive assignments,” he said.

The Utes were not able to hold the formation as well as Gaertner had envisioned. That created many opportunities for Weber State’s offense, which had no problem exposing the Utes’ formation and scoring four goals, two of which came on penalty kicks.

What was an uphill battle quickly became worse when Utah’s leading scorer Alan Garcia was red-carded in the second half.

The Utes look to turn the page as they focus on their final three games of the season this weekend, playing three consecutive days. Thursday, the Utes have a home game against Utah Valley at 4 p.m. They will then travel to Pocatello to play Idaho State on Friday at 4 p.m. and end with an 11 a.m. matchup in Logan against Utah State on Saturday morning.

Gaertner said he hopes to build some momentum this weekend to take into the NIRSA tournament next weekend in Boise.

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