NYON: UEFA has risked plunging football into further refereeing confusion after ordering the last minutes of a match to be replayed because of a referee’s error.
The European federation has decided the final seconds of a women’s Under-19 European Championship qualifier between England and Norway must be replayed tonight (Thursday), starting with a stoppage-time penalty and a new referee.
UEFA said its disciplinary committee has never before issued such a ruling.
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.
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.”
Play will resume at 8.45pm in Belfast, after Norway and England play other group matches earlier Thursday. The retaken penalty could decide which team advances to the final tournament.