Colombia rules out foreign officials

BOGOTA - Colombia has ruled out bringing in referees from abroad following a controversial start to the playoff stage of the Apertura championship.

"We've totally ruled out the idea of hiring foreign referees," said Colombian Football Federation (FCF) president Luis Bedoya.

Eduardo Pimentel, a leading shareholder with Boyaca Chico, demanded foreign referees after his side lost 2-1 at Once Caldas to a hugely controversial penalty in semi-final Group A on Sunday.

The penalty was widely described as non-existent by Colombian media.

Pimentel, a former Millonarios player, said he would pull Chico out of the championship and field a youth side if his demands were not met.

Cucuta also demanded foreign referees after coach Jorge Luis Pinto was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Envigado.