A player in the Norwegian fifth division has been sent off for protesting against being awarded a penalty.
Talat Abunima was playing for Sandved against Ild when he went down in the box.
“I went past an Ild player and then tripped over my own feet. It was unbelievably clumsy of me and when the referee pointed to the spot I felt I had to speak out,” Abunima told local newspaper Sandnesposten.
Referee Nedzad Munjic disagreed, telling news website VG Nett (www.vg.no): “It was a clear penalty. The player got it all wrong - I don’t think the players know the rules properly. And when I’ve blown the whistle, I can’t change my mind.”
Munjic first gave Abunima a yellow card for protesting and when the 36-year-old continued to argue against the decision to award him a spot kick, he was sent off.
Rune Pedersen, the head of the Norwegian Referees’ Association, said the official could have changed his mind over the penalty but that the cards were warranted.
“A referee can change any decision he has taken until the play resumes,” he said.
With Sandved leading 3-1, player-coach Oyvind Svenning took the spot kick, deliberately sending it wide. ”It was the right thing to do,” he told reporters.
But the drama did not end there. Ild withdrew a player to make the sides even again and were then awarded two late penalties by Munjic. They converted both to secure a 3-3 draw.
“The guy who missed on purpose complained a lot about the penalty that led to the 3-3 goal,” the referee added. “I don’t really understand that. First he shoots wide on purpose, then he complains when the other team scores. It’s hopeless.”
Sandnesposten said the local football authority has now rescinded Abunima’s red card.