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Peter Vermes offers scathing review of PRO following Real Salt Lake loss

Sporting KC roster

Kansas City, Kansas — Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes was not a fan of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) on Saturday. Following Sporting’s 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, Vermes laid into PRO after numerous decisions went against his team at Children’s Mercy Park.

“If you don’t know how to make a good decision and you don’t see it, then I don’t know what you’re seeing,” Vermes said.

Peter Vermes lays into MLS and PRO

Fotis Bazakos, who was the referee on the night, was at the center of several major decisions. Perhaps the biggest of the night was a decision to not award Sporting KC a penalty after a hard challenge on Felipe Gutierrez.

Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera appeared to catch little to no contact on the ball, instead sideswiping Gutierrez’s feet. Bazakos referred to VAR for a second view of the instant, but stuck to his guns and rewarded a throw-in instead of a penalty.

“VAR is a great thing, having instant replay is excellent because it helps make the game legitimate, right,” Vermes said. “You miss something, speed of play or whatever, to not be able to call a penalty kick like that at the end I just don’t understand.”

Vermes also referred to several other moments in the game Bazakos lost control of the game. One particular moment in the first half saw Gutierrez bizarrely pick up a yellow card as Nick Besler tried to delay a freekick. Gutierrez went to kick the ball as Besler tried to pick it up, resulting in the latter collapsing to the floor.

“He calls a foul and our player puts the ball down, he wants to play it. (Besler) puts his hands in there to grab it, (Gutierrez) gets a yellow card because he kicks it,” Vermes said. “If (Besler) doesn’t touch the ball, there is never any situation, a player should never have the right. The reason why he has the right is because (Bazakos) never manages the game from the very beginning when they kicked the ball.”

Vermes also called out MLS and PRO for failing to implement initiatives laid out at the start of each season.

“The initiatives never get enforced and it’s a waste of players, staff, club, fans, owners, everybody’s time,” he said. “Because they don’t get enforced.”

Ultimately, Vermes closed out his rant with one simple phrase.

“The inconsistency is incredibly consistent.”


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