NYON: England’s women’s youth team has taken full advantage of a decision by UEFA which risks plunging football into further refereeing confusion.
The European federation decided the final seconds of a women’s Under-19 European Championship qualifier between England and Norway had to be replayed tonight [Thursday] starting with a stoppage-time penalty and a new referee.
With Norway leading 2-1 on Saturday in Belfast, England’s Leah Williamson scored from the penalty spot in the sixth minute of injury time but the goal was disallowed because an England player had encroached.
However, German referee Marija Kurtes wrongly awarded a free kick to Norway instead of a penalty retake. The Football Association protested. UEFA accepted the complaint and ordered the retake with a new referee – Kurtes having been sent home.
The last minutes were replayed in Belfast with Williamson converting the penalty to earn a 2-2 draw which sent England to the finals.
UEFA regulations uphold protests in cases of “an obvious violation of a rule by the referee that had a decisive influence on the final result of the match.”