England to replay final seconds

Published: Thursday 9th April 2015 by The News Editor

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England’s Under-19 women’s team will replay the final seconds of their European Championship qualifier against Norway on Thursday night after UEFA admitted the referee made a mistake in the original encounter.

With Norway winning 2-1, England were handed a lifeline in the sixth minute of stoppage time during the match in Belfast on Saturday when they won a penalty.

Leah Williamson scored the spot-kick, but German referee Marija Kurtes disallowed the goal because one England player entered the box before she struck the ball.

Norway played out the final minute of stoppage time and won the match 2-1.

Rules state the referee should have ordered the penalty to be re-taken, and UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body said it had no choice but to order the final moments of the match be replayed from the point of the penalty kick.

“We originally wrote that Norway had qualified”, UEFA said on its website.

“But on 8 April the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) announced that Norway’s game against England on 4 April will be replayed from the minute a penalty kick was awarded to England, who were 2-1 down at the time.”

UEFA said the referee had been sent home from the qualifying event being held in Northern Ireland.

The game will now restart from the penalty spot at the Seaview Stadium in Belfast at 9:45pm on Thursday evening.

Bizarrely, both Norway and England will play their final group matches before the final minute of the Norway match is replayed.

England play Switzerland and Norway face Northern Ireland.

England beat Northern Ireland 9-1 in their other fixture earlier this week and Norway defeated Switzerland 2-0.

The top teams in each group qualify, along the runners-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their group.

The finals will take place in July in Israel.

The decision by UEFA led to a debate over whether a wider precedent had been set which might mean matches in England being replayed where a refereeing mistake made a crucial impact on the outcome of the game.

But it is understood the Football Association – which appealed to UEFA over the original disallowed penalty – and Premier League accept the referee’s decision on the pitch as final in their own competitions and would not order a replay in similar circumstances.

Published: Thursday 9th April 2015 by The News Editor

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