A player in the Norwegian fifth
division has been sent off for protesting against being awarded
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: "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
Sandnesposten said the local football authority has now
rescinded Abunima's red card.
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