The Globe-Times -- Bethlehem
February 16, 1925
STEEL PROTESTS SOCCER GAME
Backed Up by Neutral Linesmen, Complaint Made to Secretary Cahill
OVER REFEREE'S DECISION

The likelihood of a replay in the second round of the American Soccer League tie cup competition became apparent this morning when the Bethlehem Steel management wired a protest concerning the inefficient work of Referee Lowry to Secretary Thomas W. Cahill. The protest was in the form of a telegram followed by a letter in which the particular play on which Bethlehem protests is described.

The Steel Workers were eliminated, unless the protest is approved by the league officials, by New Bedford by the score of 1 goal to none. Apparently from the returns of the tie game the work of Referee Lowry was much on the par of that witnessed in several recent games and surprise expressed that Secretary Cahill would assign him to such an important game as a cup contest. The letter protesting and asking an immediate decision in the matter follows:

With respect tot he protest, I may say that the penalty act was committed so flagrantly and so willfully that it was astounding to those who have the sincerity of soccer at heart to realize that the referee should ignore such an act. The foul was committed apparently for the reason that it was the only way in which the scoring of the goal could have been prevented. It resulted from a center from the right wing, which landed immediately in front of the goal not more than three (3) yards out, and being headed into goal by Player Stark. The goalkeeper was on the opposite end of the goal to that which the ball was entering the net, and was in no position to prevent the score. Player Wilson, of New Bedford, was standing on the goal line as the ball was entering the net, and was in no position to prevent the score other than by the willful use of hands. This he did without any effort to conceal the act, for he was obliged to reach far and high to even connect with the ball. The captain and other Bethlehem players appealed to the Referee for a penalty decision. This he refused to accede to, and ordered the play to proceed without any delay whatever.

At half time I approached Linesman Carlin, and asked him his version of the play. Without hesitation he declared it should be a penalty and signaled to the referee at the time for such a decision . Linesman White was asked by me in the presence of the referee to give his version, to which he answered that he would answer only to the referee. At half time several of the New Bedford players confessed to the foul and Player Wilson in particular admitted having performed the act. I have witnesses that can substantiate every one of these statements, and further that the newspaper reporters present admitted the foul. The foul was so flagrant that the spectators in the immediate proximity of the goal used the incident for much humor and laughter, and the Referee from that moment forward was subject to all manner of verbal abuse, both humorous and otherwise.

From my viewpoint there are two kinds of penalties, one in which there is room for debate as to whether it was willful or not willful, and whether a goal would have resulted from the subsequent play; the other kind is that upon which there is no dispute as to whether a goal would have been scored, or whether the player willfully committed a foul in order to prevent a score. Unquestionably this particular foul was of the latter variety.

Incidentally, the work of the Referee in this particular game was without doubt the most incompetent that has been my fate to witness in any important cup tie. It would require much writing to tell a story of his ineffici3ncies. His stopping the play when the penalized side was in possession of the ball, his reversing himself on a goal decision after appealing to the linesmen, his weakness both in foul tactics and offside were all a sad reflection on his abilities for such an important contest.

Presumably as a result of this protest you will call together such individuals as may be considered necessary to give testimony, and I am hopeful that you will arrange the hearing at the earliest possible date, so that an early decision may be reached.


1924-1925
Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club