An amazing scene witnessed in the MLS on Saturday when a referee rescinded a red card he originally showed because the player that was fouled said the offence wasn't worthy of one.
In the 74th minute of a match between Philadelphia Union and D.C. United at Talen Energy Stadium, referee Sorin Stoica issued a red card to United player Luciano Acosta.
The Argentine playmaker appeared to foul Haris Medunjanin near the end boards, and the referee did not hesitate in awarding what seemed to be a completely undeserved red card.
However, before Acosta hit the showers, Medunjanin stepped in, telling Stoica the foul was not a red-card worthy offence.
Persuaded by Medunjanin's honesty, Stoica took back the red and allowed Acosta to continue playing.
After the game, Medunjanin described what happened to reporters.
I was protecting the ball and suddenly (Acosta) pushed me in the back. And then I saw the red card.Although Medunjanin's input helped United remain at even strength, the Union staved off late pressure to secure a 1-0 victory and end a three-game losing streak.
I spoke a little bit to Acosta and he was saying he didn't kick me. I said I didn't feel it also.
I went to the referee and he said, "Did he kick you?" I said, "I don't think so. I think it was just a push." That's why it's no red card, for me.
I can talk now about being honest because we won the three points. It's much easier to speak (about it), but maybe if it's a draw, maybe it's a little bit different.
Union head coach Jim Curtin added that it was an incredible act that shows what kind of man Medunjanin is.
You talk about fair play in this league and all over the world, he's the one who had the intestinal fortitude to speak up and say there was no contact.
It's an incredible act. I think it's something you could show to not just young kids, but adults who play in professional soccer.
The Bosnian midfielder earned some high praise from the opposing side too, with United coach Ben Olsen saying:
I've got a lot of respect for that. He's a classy player and a pretty classy human being.