Referees suspended after playing 42 minutes of added time in top division match

A referee and his team of officials have been suspended after 42 minutes of added time were played.

Bolivian giants Atletico Palmaflor and Blooming played out a very eventful contest which finished 3-2 in Palmaflor’s favour. After storming into a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a penalty from Jonathan Canete and Gilbert Alvarez, the victory was seemingly assured for the home side, who dominated the proceedings.

But, to their horror, an incredible 42 minutes of added time were ordered, essentially giving Blooming another half of football to get themselves back into the contest. And shortly after the 132 minute fixture in South America, the officials involved in the bonkers match paid the price.

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Referee Julio Fernando Gutierrez and his five officials have all been subsequently suspended by the Bolivian soccer federation. It’s understood the bulk of the added time was attributed to the jaw-droppingly long VAR call for Blooming’s second goal.

The officials needed 17 minutes to see if Gaston Rodriguez Maeso’s 86th minute goal was offside. After taking more than a quarter of an hour to ascertain their decision, the goal was eventually awarded,

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While both sides were expecting around 18-20 minutes of extra time, they were flabbergasted when 42 minutes were added on to the game. Inevitably, Jose Luis Sinisterra equalised in the 24th minute of added time, leaving Palmoflor furious.

Tensions grew more strained as the match went on in the pouring rain, opening the door for some ferocious tackles. Blooming also saw both Cesar Menacho and Miguel Angel Becerra Vaca both given straight red cards either side of their equaliser.

Palmoflor were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as Caneta popped up to score a late winner in the 38th minute of added time. "We are happy for our team's victory against Blooming, despite the suspicious refereeing,” Palmoflor sporting executive and former president of Bolivia Evo Morales said after the match.

"We are sorry about it and ask for a performance review of all the referees who exaggeratedly prolong matches. We would not like to think that they were looking to make our team lose."

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