Koman Coulibaly

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Koman Coulibaly
Full name Koman Coulibaly
Born (1970-07-04) July 4, 1970 (age 46)
Bamako, Mali
Other occupation Finance Inspector
Years Role
1993– Referee
Years League Role
1999– FIFA-listed Referee

Koman Coulibaly (born 4 July 1970) is a Malian football referee. He has been a full international referee for FIFA since 1999, and officiated his first international match on 19 April 2000, between Mali and Burkina Faso. Coulibaly is one of Mali's most experienced officials, having been selected for five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[1] Outside of Africa, Coulibaly became the subject of international press coverage after officiating the 2010 World Cup match between the USA and Slovenia, where he called a disputed foul that negated an 85th-minute play in which Maurice Edu put the ball into the Slovenian goal.

Early career[edit]

Coulibaly has a degree from the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Économiques (Faculty of Legal and Economic Sciences) at the University of Bamako, and is a financial enforcement inspector for the government of Mali.[2][3][4] He began his refereeing career in 1994 with the District de Bamako league, then for Ligue 1 championnat national, and was finally promoted as a Fédération Malienne de Football official in 1999.[2] Coulibaly has courted controversy for some of his past decisions. Officiating Cameroon's final 2006 World Cup qualifier against Egypt on 8 October 2005,[5] Coulibaly ruled a disputed stoppage-time penalty against Egypt, while tied 1–1.[6] Cameroon did not convert the penalty, which would have taken them through to the finals.

African Cup of Nations[edit]

He was selected as a referee for the 2002 African Cup of Nations in Mali, the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana, and the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola.[7] Coulibaly officiated the final of the 2010 African Cup of Nations between Ghana and Egypt.


2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Coulibaly was preselected as a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in October 2008,[8] one of 32 referees selected for the tournament[9] and one of four African officials.[10]

On 18 June 2010, Coulibaly officiated the Group C match between the United States and Slovenia. In the 86th minute, Coulibaly called a foul against the U.S. as American midfielder Maurice Edu kicked the ball into the Slovenian goal. Video replay showed no evidence of a foul or offside by any of the U.S. players. It has been considered to be one of the worst calls in the recent history of the World Cup. The decision to disallow the goal was criticized in the international sports press.[11][12][13] The goal would have put the American side ahead 3–2 and the Americans would have won Group C; but instead, the match ended in a 2–2 draw.[14] Despite the United States Soccer Federation's requests for FIFA to compel an explanation, Coulibaly has never been required to state the basis for the decision or the player upon whom the foul was called. He never refereed another international match.[15]

Though Coulibaly was fourth official in a later match between Italy and New Zealand, he was not chosen to officiate in the second round and was sent home before the quarterfinals. This match was his only appearance as referee in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[16][17]

2010 Champions League[edit]

Coulibaly had to be escorted off the pitch after the match between Al-Ahly and Ismaily SC during the group stage of the CAF Champions League. Al-Ahly scored 4 minutes into extra time to win the match, while Coulibaly did not call a foul by an Al-Ahly player in the buildup to the goal.[18]

In 2011, Coulibaly and his assistants were attacked by supporters during the Club Africain v Al Hilal CAF Champions League Match. CAF Disciplinary Committee ordered Africain to play two competition matches behind closed doors and fined the Tunisians $80,000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FIFA.com". FIFA. 19 April 2000. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010.  Coulibaly's bio is no longer on the FIFA website.
  2. ^ a b Un Malien au Mondial 2010 : Koman COULIBALY, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 12 February 2010.
  3. ^ Moussa Ismaïla Touré : le meilleur sifflet africain, Souleymane Diallo, Le Républicain, 12 March 2007.
  4. ^ "Koman Coulibaly". World Referee. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  5. ^ FIFA Match Report, Cameroon V Egypt, 8 October 2005.
  6. ^ Soccer-Controversial Malian to referee Nations Cup final. Reuters, 29 January 2010.
  7. ^ Les indiscrétions de Ali Hassouni, Le Matin (Morocco), 2 February 2010.
  8. ^ List of prospective 2010 FIFA World Cup referees
  9. ^ http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/tournament/competition/01/20/63/22/refereesandassistantrefereesforfifa.com27.5.2010.pdf
  10. ^ Mondial 2010: Quatre arbitres africains retenus, Fraternité Matin, 6 February 2010.
  11. ^ Lewis, Michael (19 June 2010). "Robbed at the World Cup! Late goal disallowed as U.S. forced to settle for 2–2 draw with Slovenia". New York Daily News. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Slovenia 2–2 United States". London: The Daily Mail. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  13. ^ Futterman, Matthew (19 June 2010). "FIFA Studies Referee's Call in Slovenia-U.S. Match". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "U.S soccer stars, Blogosphere slam world cup referee". NBC Chicago. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Controversial Call Denies USA a Comeback Win Against Slovenia". USA Today. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "FIFA Sends Referees, Including Coulibaly, Larrionda, Home From World Cup". Bloomberg. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Referees' chief defends decisions". ESPN. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Weakened Ahly battle in Egyptian derby". supersport.com. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-17. 

External links[edit]