Four days after complaining about yellow cards handed out to teammates Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe in the Americans' last game at the women's World Cup, Abby Wambach was issued a caution of her own when FIFA warned her for criticizing the officiating.
The yellows levied against Holiday and Rapinoe in the first half of Monday's Round of 16 win over Colombia appeared justified. But they were the second of the tournament for both players, making them ineligible for Friday's quarterfinal with China.
After Monday's game Wambach was asked if the calls by French referee Stephanie Frappart were deserved.
"I don't know if they were yellows," she said. "It seemed like she was purposefully giving those yellows to maybe players that she knew were sitting on yellows. I don't know if that was just a psychological thing, who knows. Who knows?"
Wambach apologized a day later, something FIFA says factored in its decision not to suspend international soccer's all-time leading scorer.
"I'm not in the referee's head, and that's something I definitely take ownership of and apologize for," she said.
FIFA said in a statement Thursday night that the apology factored into the decision.
During the 2012 Olympics, Canadian striker Christine Sinclair made pointed comments about the officiating following her team's semifinal loss to the United States, earning a four-match suspension from FIFA for unsportsmanlike behavior.