Update from Monday, June 23
Alex Song's World Cup is over after he was punished by UEFA for striking Mario Mandzukic during Cameroon's game with Croatia.
Song will now miss Cameroon's final game with Brazil, which is an important fixture for the hosts, who are still to secure their place in the last-16:
FIFA give Alex Song three-match ban & he is suspended for Cameroon's game against Brazil tonight #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 23, 2014
Cameroon was already having a tough time at the 2014 World Cup, but a red card picked up by Alex Song in the first half against Croatia made things even worse.
Croatia had taken a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute and was doing a good job of controlling the match. In the 40th minute, however, Song seemed to vent his frustration on opposing forward Mario Mandzukic:
Alex Song has been sent off for this off the ball incident. What an idiot. http://t.co/ZxbKs0RRHC— Football Vines (@Vine_Football) June 18, 2014
As Nate Scott of USA Today describes, the midfielder basically clocked his opponent from behind:
Graham Ruthven of Bleacher Report comically breaks down the incident as well:
Credit to Alex Song. Just invented a new punch. Flying elbow to the back? That's not a thing.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) June 18, 2014
Andy Glockner of The Cauldron points out that it was partially Mandzukic's fault for stepping in his path:
That kind of sucks. Live, I saw Mandzukic setting the moving screen, but you can't karate chop him.— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) June 18, 2014
Either way, this marks the end of Song's World Cup run, as Bleacher Report's Dan Levy notes:
That red card will be Alex's World Cup swan Song.— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) June 18, 2014
The midfielder will be suspended for the next match against Brazil, but it matters little after Cameroon was eliminated with a 4-0 loss to Croatia. The African squad would have not only needed to come back against Croatia but would also likely have needed to beat the hosts in the next match—two unlikely scenarios.
ESPN FC points out that this will be an even bigger obstacle to overcome without one of the team's best players:
Song is following in his cousin Rigobert's footsteps, according to Bleacher Report UK:
This adds to an unflattering history of Cameroon picking up red cards in the World Cup:
In addition to Cameroon fans, Barcelona supporters are also likely not too happy watching Wednesday's matches, according to Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post:
Alex Song red card, Spain looking like El Crapico ... tough day to be a fan of Barca players— Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) June 18, 2014
The one redeeming factor is that Alexis Sanchez had a strong performance for Chile earlier in the day against Spain. Still, Song did not do a great job of proving his value in this tournament, per Duncan Castles of The Sunday Times:
It seems like the only people happy about this situation is the Brazilian team, who will get a chance to compete against a weaker Cameroon lineup on Monday.
Brazil has battled through its first two games of the group stage and will look to establish some momentum moving forward.