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England Women's Match To Be Replayed From The 96th Minute


There have been countless refereeing blunders in the history of the beautiful game, but rarely, if ever, have they been so directly rectified as this one.

England Women's Under-19 team were playing a European Championship qualifier against their Norwegian counterparts in Belfast on Saturday with England seemingly heading out of the competition as the score stood at 2-1 to Norway. However, in the 96th minute, they were awarded a penalty.

Arsenal Ladies' Leah Williamson (pictured above) scored the spot-kick, but German referee Marija Kurtes disallowed it due to encroachment into the penalty area from another England player. The correct decision would have been for the kick to be retaken, but instead a free kick was awarded and Norway played out the final minute to win the tie.

However, in an unprecented move, UEFA have ordered the game to be replayed from the 96th minute, beginning with the retaken penalty, tonight at 9:45pm. The players who were on the field at the time must appear again. Even more bizarrely, both England and Norway will play other matches before reconvening - England face Switzerland, while Norway take on Northern Ireland at 4pm today.

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

The winners of the four-team group and the best runner-up from the six groups will qualify for July's finals in Israel - it's still possible for both England and Norway to qualify; but it all hinges on that decisive penalty; no pressure Leah.


(Image: Getty)



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