Final 18 seconds of women's match to be replayed
LONDON - ReutersThe final 18 seconds of a women's under-19 European Championship qualifier between England and Norway is to be replayed after UEFA acknowledged the referee had made a mistake.
The decision, the first of its kind by the organisation, means the teams must return to Belfast's Seaview Stadium at 20:45 GMT on Thursday and replay the final seconds with the same players who finished Saturday's encounter.
UEFA's decision follows an incident near the end of Saturday's game when England were trailing 2-1 and were awarded a late penalty.
The spot-kick was converted but referee Marija Kurtes disallowed the goal and awarded Norway an indirect free kick because an England player had entered the box before her team mate struck the ball.
While the laws of the game state that Kurtes was right to disallow the goal, she should have ordered England to retake the penalty and not awarded an indirect free kick to the opposition.
"After England Women U19s' match against Norway on Saturday 4 April, the FA lodged a protest to UEFA following a disallowed penalty," the English Football Association said in a statement.
"Due to an incorrect application of the game's laws by the match referee, UEFA have ordered the match to be replayed from the point of the penalty."
A different player will be able to retake England's penalty later on Thursday, though Kurtes will not be in charge of the remainder of the game after she was sent home following her mistake.
Both sides face qualifiers earlier on Thursday, with England playing Switzerland at 15:00 GMT, while Norway come up against Northern Ireland at the same time. All matches are being played in Northern Ireland.