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Honduras Goalkeeper Sent Off For Patting Rival On Backside

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THE sending off of a goalkeeper who patted a rival on the backside has made the Honduran game an international laughing stock, the director of first division side Marathon has said.

The game on 12 October between Real Sociedad and Marathon was level at 1-1 when the referee awarded Real their second penalty of the match and sent off the Marathon keeper Junior Morales for innocuously patting an opponent on the behind as he left the penalty box.

The linesman called the referee’s attention to what he said was aggression and after some consultation the referee awarded a spot-kick. With just minutes remaining the goalkeeper refused to leave the field, the Marathon players complained en masse and the referee abandoned the game. The Honduran FA’s disciplinary committee awarded all three points to Real Sociedad.

“It’s the strangest decision I’ve ever seen in football, it’s totally absurd,” Marathon’s director of football, Rolando Peña, said. “The world is laughing at us and at the referee.” The decision, which was ratified last week by the Honduran FA’s appeals court, cost Marathon an estimated $120,000 (£77,000) in lost sponsorship and gate money, Peña said.

The club missed out on the league play-offs this year by two points, he added, finishing in seventh place. The top six, including Real Sociedad in fifth place, qualify for next week’s play-offs. – The Guardian

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