NASL Levies Record Fine On Rowdies Owner Bill Edwards for Criticizing Officials

Bill Edwards NASL Rowdies

by DAVE MARTINEZ and JAKE NUTTING

If you criticize the officials, be prepared to pay the price.

EoS has learned the North American Soccer League front office has fined Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards for a letter posted on the team’s website criticizing the level of officiating the team has experienced during the year.

While an exact number for the fine was not disclosed, it was described to EoS as a “record fine” for the league, which never makes fines for players or coaches public.

Edwards penned the letter following the team’s controversial 2-2  draw the rival New York Cosmos last weekend in which the Rowdies felt aggrieved over two no-penalty calls in the first half and a disallowed goal in the second half.

Edwards went so far as to include a video with clips demonstrating bad calls that have gone against the Rowdies.

The recent draw was not the sole focus of Edwards’ complaint, though. In his letter, Edwards noted that he has grown frustrated with what he deems a lack of accountability after a significant number of poorly officiated matches this season.

We have submitted the official NASL Officiating Evaluation Form after every match, pointing out these deficiencies along the way.  It seems those reports have been ignored.  While I recognize that referees are human, I firmly believe we have the right to expect fair and consistent treatment no matter the referee, the opponent or the venue. Our coaches and players work too hard to have their efforts negated by bad calls.

Our fans deserve better also. You pay good money to see a professional soccer match. Poor officiating affects your experience and possibly your desire to come back. Fans – I want you all to know I am doing something about it.

Edwards was not the only one with a bone to pick with the officials after last week’s draw. While slightly more reserved, Cosmos Head Coach Gio Savarese also had harsh words for the referee after he viewed as a questionable penalty allowed the Rowdies to equalize in stoppage time.

“We played a difficult team,” Savarese told Cosmos Country Podcast. “They proposed difficulties on us. We were able to cover the things and execute the plan and then it can be at the end all of a sudden we get something that it shouldn’t be called and some situations give away a game that we worked so hard for. And we’re tired already of these kinds of situations that have already been repetitive too many times.”

  • Randy

    Really!!! Fined for critizing the officials. Unbelievable. So much stupid **** anymore in sports.

    • JOHN

      I left the game with fifteen minutes to go, the referee was so bad. He completely spoiled the game for the players and fans.

  • Hernando Peralta

    Probably the NASL office was short of money ..