Edgardo Codesal

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Codesal and the second or maternal family name is Méndez.

Edgardo Codesal Méndez (Spanish pronunciation: [eðˈɣarðo koˈðesal]; born 2 June 1951 in Montevideo, Uruguay) is an Uruguayan-Mexican football (soccer) referee, best known for supervising the final match of the 1990 World Cup held in Italy.


His grandfather was from Argentina, and his father, José Maria Codesal, was a referee in the 1966 FIFA World Cup.[2]

Since the child and that he could remember and knew that his father was a referee which was what made him follow his path, as Uruguayan Edgardo everyone was passionate about football, played in childhood Baby Football teams in the area and in his teens he played as goalkeeper for the Club Atlético Cerro of Montevideo.

He began his career as a referee in Uruguay in 1976, by the year 1977 in the Primera División Uruguaya debut in the match Cerro vs Huracán, which happened to be on the Hill Club had most of his former teammates football. In AUDAF was known as "Codesal Jr".

In 1980 he traveled to Mexico where he had contact with the Mexican Football Federation, there begins to arbitrate directly in Mexican football and which was practically his career strong, started refereeing international matches and finals in Mexico.

Although Codesal was born in Montevideo Uruguay, he represented his adopted country, Mexico, as a CONCACAF referee in the 1990 World Cup. Among his international posts, Codesal was CONCACAF's director of referees, head of refereeing for the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999, and member of the refereeing committee for the FIFA World U-20 Championship in Nigeria, the Confederations Cup in Mexico and the FIFA World U-17 Championship in New Zealand.

1990 World Cup[edit]

FIFA observers rated Codesal 8.5 for his refereeing performances.[3]


During the 1990 World Cup, Codesal had refereed Italy vs USA, match of the first round (group A), won by Italy for 1-0. During the match Codesal awarded a penalty to Italy that Gianluca Vialli failed to score.


Codesal had refereed England vs Cameroon match for the quarter finals of the tournament. Three penalties were awarded, all of them scored: the first one was for Cameroon which enabled them to level the score at 1-1; the second was for England which Gary Lineker scored to level the score at 2-2 after Cameroon had taken a 2-1 lead; the last one also went to England in extra time and Lineker again scored to give England passage into the semi-finals. Codesal was credited with keeping control of a potentially difficult match over a period of 120 minutes.


Codesal was appointed for the World Cup final, which featured Argentina and West Germany.

His job at this match is still a topic for heated debate among football fans. During the match, Codesal refused to award a penalty kick to German player Klaus Augenthaler. Later, he incurred the wrath of the Argentinians by not awarding them a penalty kick after Lothar Matthäus allegedly tackled Gabriel Calderón.

In the 83rd minute, Codesal awarded West Germany a penalty kick for what he saw was a foul by Roberto Sensini against Rudi Völler. The call was controversial, and it was heavily debated by the Argentinian players. Andreas Brehme converted the penalty kick to give West Germany their third World Cup title.

Codesal also became the first referee to send off a player in a final match of a Football World Cup, by showing the red card to Argentines Monzón and Dezotti. Monzón was given a direct red after a tackle on Jürgen Klinsmann, in which Klinsmann exaggerated the contact. Dezotti was sent off near the end for a tussle with Jürgen Kohler when Kohler refused to give-up the ball in an attempt to waste time. After dismissing Dezotti, Codesal was surrounded and jostled by the rest of the Argentinian team.[1] Argentina finished the match with nine men, having lost half their team to injury or suspension by the final.


Codesal retired from refereeing at the top level shortly after the 1990 World Cup.

A few days after the match, Argentine coach Carlos Bilardo, referring to Codesal being a gynecologist, suggested him to "take his hands to where he knows".

At the USA 1994 World Cup, banners insulting Codesal were hung by Argentine fans.


  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
FIFA World Cup Final 1986
Brazil Romualdo Arppi Filho
FIFA World Cup Final Referees
Final 1990
Mexico Edgardo Codesal
Succeeded by
FIFA World Cup Final 1994
Hungary Sándor Puhl