Edgardo Codesal

Edgardo Codesal

Edgardo Codesal Méndez is an Uruguayan-Mexican football (soccer) referee, best known for supervising the final match of the 1990 World Cup held in Italy.


Although Codesal was born in Uruguay, he represented his adopted country, Mexico, as a CONCACAF referee in the 1990 World Cup. Among his international posts, Codesal was CONCACAF's director of referees, head of refereeing for the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999, and member of the refereeing committee for the FIFA World U-20 Championship in Nigeria, the Confederations Cup in Mexico and the FIFA World U-17 Championship in New Zealand.

1990 World Cup


During the 1990 World Cup, Codesal had refereed England vs Cameroon match for the quarter finals of the 1990 tournament. Three penalties were awarded, all of them scored; the first one was for Cameroon which put them ahead 2-1, then the equalizer for England which allowed them to take the match to extra time, and the last one gave England the passage to semi-finals. Codesal was credited with keeping control of a potentially difficult match over a period of 120 minutes.


During the match, Codesal denied an clear penalty to German player Klaus Augenthaler and then to Argentine player Pedro Monzón. He then incurred the wrath of the Argentinians by refusing to award Argentina an arguable penalty by Matthäus against Calderón and, seconds later, giving Germany a debatable penalty by Sensini against Völler, five minutes before the end of the regular time. Andreas Brehme promptly converted the spot kick to give West Germany the 1-0 and their third World Cup title.

Codesal also became the first referee to send off a player in a final match of a Football World Cup, by showing the red card to Argentines Monzón and Dezotti. Monzón was given a direct red after a harsh tackle on Jürgen Klinsmann, and Dezotti was sent off near the end for a tussle with Jürgen Kohler. After dismissing Dezotti, Codesal was surrounded and jostled by the rest of the Argentinian team. [ [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=365940&root=worldcup&cc=5901] ] Argentina finished the match with nine men, having lost half their team to injury or suspension by the final.

Codesal was criticized for missing several clear calls, and particularly by the Argentinians for his alleged bias against them. Argentina, though, was one of the least popular teams, relying heavily on theatrical diving, defensive play and hard tackling, and well as aggressive intimidation of the referee. [ [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=365940&root=worldcup&cc=5901] ] They exemplified the trend of "playing it safe" for 120 minutes to try their luck in the penalty shootout [ [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=365940&root=worldcup&cc=5901] ] , rather than risk going forward, scoring only five goals in seven games and managing only one shot on goal in the final. Most of the pro-German crowd, particularly due to Argentina eliminating hosts Italy in a shootout and because West Germany had chosen an attacking style, had welcomed the last minute penalty kick awarded; which would have denied Argentina a chance at a third shootout.


Codesal retired from refereeing at the top level shortly after the 1990 World Cup.

A few days after the match, Argentine coach Carlos Bilardo, referring to Codesal being a gynecologist, suggested him to "take his hands to where he knows".

At the USA 1994 World Cup, banners insulting Codesal were hung by Argentine fans.

On October 1999, Jorge Humberto Rojano, former president of the Mexican Referees Association, alleged in an interview with Mexican newspaper La Jornada that FIFA, at that time managed by Brazilian João Havelange, would only allow Codesal to supervise the final match if he prevented Argentina from winning [ [http://www.jornada.unam.mx/1999/10/03/dep-argentina.html "Argentina no debía ganar el Mundial de 90, la consigna: Humberto Rojano"] - La Jornada es icon] [ [http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2005/01/23/a29n2dep.php "El caso Branco revive memorias de Italia 90"] - La Jornada es icon] [ [http://www.elsalvador.com/noticias/EDICIONESANTERIORES/octubre21/DEPORTES/depor8.html "FIFA habría boicoteado a Argentina en 1990"] - El Salvador es icon] [ [http://www.clarin.com/diario/1999/10/19/r-04803d.htm "Sospechas"] - Clarín es icon] .


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