Sports News of 2014-07-21

Baffoe's handshake snub has made me famous - World Cup referee

Canadian World Cup referee Joe Fletcher says his famous handshake snub from FIFA match coordinator Anthony Baffoe has made him popular.
The 37-year-old linesman, who was part of the four-man officiating team for the 2014 World Cup Group B game between Spain and Chile, became the talk of soccer fans when he was videoed to have been conspicuously snubbed by FIFA Match Coordinator and former Black Stars defender Anthony Baffoe during the pre-match team inspection in the tunnel.
Anticipating a handshake after Iker Casillas, the Canadian, standing next to the Spanish goalkeeper, offered his hand but the Ghanaian had other ideas ignoring Fletcher’s outstretched hand. In his bid to escape an embarrassment, Fletcher was quick to react, expertly stroking his head with his ignored hand to conceal his attempt only to meet a silly grin from Casillas, who had spotted the action.
“I’ll remember it for a long time and it will always make me laugh. Of all the things you prepare for, a handshake snub is certainly not one of them,” Fletcher joked in an interview.
And the Canadian linesman goes on to give a short narration of his funny pre-match ordeal.
“The first match, we didn't shake hands with the General Coordinator and in the third match, we didn't either. That game, though, he had his own thing. He went to one captain, and then went to the other captain before greeting us. He didn't tell us that, though, and the rest is history.
“The cameraman is always there (in the tunnel) but the little light that indicates that he is filming isn’t usually on but for that game it was; they were focused on the tunnel a lot more,” he added.
After discovering how popular his extempore skit had sent him following an estimated 10 million views in over 150 countries on the Internet, Fletcher is happy not to have made the headlines for the wrong reasons.
“The biggest compliment with the missed handshake is getting such big attention and probably that the game went well. If that happened and I made a wrong offside call, they wouldn’t have discussed the handshake at all because the offside call would have gone around the world.”
Fletcher did eventually get his much-awaited pre-match handshake following the earlier snub after which the duo caught up for a post-match photo in the aftermath of the game.
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