Look up Fotis Bazakos on Google and you will find plenty of information about him. The fact that he comes from a family of refs (brother is, and dad was, one), and that he has been active since 1988 before making his MLS debut in 2012. However, you will also find a plethora of comments about his bad decisions. Well …. Add this game to the list. Toronto FC had two points stolen by this incompetent whistler on Friday night.

TFC played reasonably well on Friday given the conditions, so today’s blog will concentrate on the one person on the field on Friday who really did cost TFC the points this time !!!

Borat Bazakos
Borat & Bazakos

Approximately 5 seconds on Google with a search term of “Fotis Bazakos bad decisions” will show nearly 700 results (and a few pictures of Sacha Baron Cohen). Some are his profile and other snippets of information or articles about Friday’s game, but head over to page 2 of the results and when you consider he only started refereeing in MLS a little over a year ago, a surprising number of older results are dedicated to strange or inconsistent decisions he has made in the last 12 months…

There’s the matter of controversially reversing a linesman’s decision in the New England – LA match that led to a goal and a complete collapse by LA, or perhaps we should consider him refusing to allow 2 San Jose players back onto the pitch after changing boots allowing Vancouver to score against the 9 man Quakes (technically a correct decision, but still controversial), or his very weak decision to send off Chicago’s Jeff Larentowicz in a game against the Impact for denying a goal scoring opportunity only to reverse his decision on awarding a penalty but not his red card. Another PK drew similar bizarre looks but this one was justified … it was in a Salt Lake -V- Colorado game and he awarded a PK, then just as it was about to be taken whistled everyone off the field for a weather delay … (the kick was scored on the restart 62 minutes later). 

Bazakos has refereed TFC 5 times including Friday evening. We have had 2 wins, 2 losses and this tie. The wins were at home against Vancouver  in 2012 (3-2) where Terry Dunfield scored that late late winner after Mattocks had tied things up in injury time, and earlier this season at Rogers Centre against Kansas where we held out under a lot of pressure. The losses were both away, in New York in 2012 (4-1) and in San Jose in May of this year (2-1). None of those games had the same level of controversy as we experienced on Friday so incompetence rather than anything more sinister seems to be the general consensus. 

His card count also seems to be increasing rapidly … In our games in 2012 (2 games) he issued a total of 3 yellows to TFC and 1 to the opposition, in his 3 games involving TFC this season it has been 10 yellows for TFC and 8 for the opposition. Even though he is a frequent flasher of the yellow card, we have yet to see him produce red in a TFC game. Perhaps he is keeping that for his next trick !!!

In MLS in 2012 he issued 7 yellows in 5 games, pretty respectable, but in 2013 so far he has issued a total of 44 yellows in 10 games and a single red (the aforementioned Larentowicz card). In a further three NASL games it was 15 yellows and 1 red, with 5 yellows and 0 reds in 2 US Open Cup games. So 64 yellows and 2 reds in 15 games !!! His average of 4.4 yellows per MLS game is the joint highest in MLS equalled only by Sorin Stoica who TFC fans will remember from this article …. not the best company to be in. His next game is on Sunday 8th Sep for San Jose -V- Philly, it will be interesting to see how he tops this last ‘performance’

Currently assigned refs for TFC’s next three games are pretty scary on the face of it:

Saturday 7th Sep: Portland -V- TFC – Armando Villareal
Villareal has refereed 1 TFC game which was at at BMO Vs DC United in 2012. It was a 0-1 loss for the reds with 1Y for TFC & 2Y for DC. In 2013 so far he has officiated 15 games with 43 yellows and 5 reds issued.

Wed 11th Sep: TFC -V- Chicago – Geoff Gamble
Gamble has refereed TFC 8 times since 2010. We have never won at BMO with him in charge and he has issued 11 yellows and a red to TFC with 16 yellows and 2 reds to the opposition. so far this year he has only reffed 3 games with 10 yellows and 2 reds issued.

Sat 14th Sep: New York -V- TFC – Edvin Jurisevic
Jurisevic has officiated in 5 TFC games dating back to 2009. Its 1 win, 2 losses and 2 ties. TFC collected 15 yellows and 0 reds compared to the 5 yellows and 0 reds issued to the opposition. In 2013 he has issued 31 yellows and 4 reds in 11 games.

No article about refs would be complete without at least a cursory mention of the man we love to hate the most – Baldomero Toledo! He had a horrible game at BMO earlier in the season and although he has not sent off a TFC player since 2010 he has been back to his ‘best’ form for the rest of MLS in 2013. With 16 games under his belt so far, he has issued 56 yellows for a 3.5 per game average (nowhere near Bazakos at the top of the yellow card charts) and a whopping 12 reds or 0.8 per game (slightly ahead of Gamble and Gonzalez but miles ahead of everyone else). His 12 reds represents nearly 18% of the entire total of MLS red cards this season !


Gallery for this game: HERE



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