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UEFA orders soccer match to be restarted after referee error

10 April 2015, 08:33

Belfast, Northern Ireland — For the first time in its history, European soccer's governing responded to a team's protests by unexpectedly ordering part of a match to be replayed because of a referee's error.

Five days after the original game, the under-19s women's teams of England and Norway played the final minute again on Thursday — starting by retaking the penalty kick that prompted the controversy.

Englishwoman Leah Williamson sent the spotkick into the bottom left of the Norwegian goal to make it 2-2. And the game had barely kicked off again when the referee blew the final whistle, and both England and Norway celebrated qualifying for the U19s European Championship.

England had similarly scored its penalty on Saturday in Belfast in the sixth minute of injury time but it was disallowed when an England player encroached the area. However, German referee Marija Kurtes then wrongly awarded a free kick to Norway instead of retaking the penalty.

The English Football Association protested, and was surprised by UEFA's response: Replay the final moments again from the spotkick.

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."

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- AP

Tags uefa soccer

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