Gold Cup: CONCACAF releases statement on officiating in Panama-Mexico semifinal

The fallout from this week's officiating controversy in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup continued on Saturday as President Alfredo Hawit released a statement expressing "regret" over certain calls that "impacted the outcome" of the Panama-Mexico semifinal match.

Mexico won the contentious match, 2-1, and advanced to Sunday's final after being awarded two penalty kicks against Panama by American referee Mark Geiger, including a 88th-minute penalty for an apparent handball on Roman Torres. Replays indicted that it was a poor decision, and the match was delayed several mimnutes due to protests and ugly scenes on the field.

Eventually, Mexico's Andres Guardado scored to level the game at 1-1 and send the match into extratime, when Guardado notched a second penalty after Javier Orozco was clearly fouled in the box.

In addition, Panama star Luis Tejada was shown a red card in just the 25th minute. The match finished with 11 yellow cards. 

On Friday, CONCACAF announced that it was reviewing the situation following official protests from both the Panamanian federation and the Costa Rican federation, who complained about the officiating in their quarterfinal loss to Mexico. 

"We met with both the Referee Department leadership and referee Mark Geiger," CONCACAF's Hawit said in the statement. "Mr. Geiger, one of the best regarded referees in the region with vast international experience and a proven track record, accepted that officiating errors had been made during Wednesday’s match and that these impacted the outcome of the game.

"We at CONCACAF regret these circumstances but accept that such human errors are part of the game."

Also on Friday, several players and Mexico coach Miguel Herrera were sanctioned for their behavior during the semifinals.

Mexico will take on Jamaica in the Gold Cup final on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (7:30 pm ET; Fox Sports 1, Univision, Sportsnet). Panama face the United States in the 3rd-place game on Saturday at PPL Park (4 pm ET; Fox Sports 2, Univision, Sportsnet). 

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