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Yalla Shoot :MLS Ref Replaced After Photo Surfaces of Him Wearing Inter Miami Shirt Ahead of Game | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami prior to the match against Los Angeles Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 25, 2024 in Carson, California.  The match ended in a 1-1 draw (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

Shaun Clark/Getty Images

The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) replaced the referee for Saturday’s match between Inter Miami and Orlando City after photos surfaced of him wearing an Inter Miami shirt, according to The Athletic’s Tom Bogert.

PRO confirmed to Bogert it removed Guiherme Ceretta from the fixture, citing “a potential conflict.”

This comes amid the PRO’s continued lockout of the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA), which is the union for referees in North America. Due to the lockout, replacement officials are working MLS games to open the 2024 season.

Per Bogert, PRO is leaning on refs who have worked at the college and youth levels along with those experienced in lower divisions professionally.

The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer reported MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodriguez issued a memo to the league’s board of governors saying MLS is “pleased with the performance” of the replacement referees so far.

PSRA president Peter Manikowski told Maurer, however, that “hard metrics” point to the difference between the replacements and those in the union. Manikowski cited a high number of video reviews along with “the amount of time the ball is in play, number of incorrect offside decisions stopping good attacks, and number of incorrect/avoidable yellow/red cards.”

Ceretta’s demotion perhaps points to another issue in that PSRA refs have likely been more thoroughly vetted and are more aware of removing any perceived conflicts of interest.

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