We all knew this was coming, and yesterday it was finally handed out. Canadian women's team captain Christine Sinclair has been fined $3700 and suspended for four games by FIFA for her comments following the Canada-USA Olympic match in Manchester back in August.
As we all remember, Sinclair and her teammates were all very vocal (as were many Canadian supporters) about the alleged poor officiating by Norwegian referee Christiana Pederson, of which many saw as cherry on top of the proverbial sundae was the call of an indirect free kick, which led to the handball call on goalkeeper Erin McLeod and the winning penalty by Abby Wambach.
But almost two months after the fact, FIFA has lowered the boom on Sinclair. Most early reports have stated that the fine was for the comments she made directly to the Canadian media, but FIFA has stated it is for "unsporting behaviour" off the field. We have yet to receive the full details of what the international body is basing their decisions on, and for their part, the national federation isn't commenting more until they do.
Meanwhile, the convicted is standing by her words and isn't backing down. In a conference call earlier today, Sinclair said, "I don't regret what I said...we just lost the chance of playing for an Olympic gold medal, and that's a dream that all of us have. It was a very intense time and I was very emotional and I wouldn't want to change that."
However, she does go on to say that she will take the suspension, which will be served during a tournament in China early in the new year, while the fine (which includes a C$525 processing fee -- go figure) will be paid by the CSA.
Much of the reaction from Canadians have been uniform when the news was first released on Friday, with TSN's Jason deVos the first to open the chorus of boos...
Christine Sinclair fined and suspended four matches by FIFA for 'unsporting behaviour'. Insert joke about FIFA here...— Jason deVos (@jasondevos) October 12, 2012
This was followed by many Canadian sportspeople, including ski champ Jenn Heil and hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser. Some even went as far as to suggest that the timing of the suspension is apt, considering the fact that balloting for FIFA's Women's Player of the Year has just begun.
Of course, we still don't know yet as to if any other members of that squad will be punished -- that news we will have for you as this story develops.