Referee Takuto Okabe, who was in charge of our opening weekend fixture with Hiroshima, has been suspended for two games. The reason being his failure to call Hiroshima's so-called "trick penalty" as illegal.
The penalty in question:
I barely mentioned this in my report for the game, but that was due to the TV signal cutting out for the spot kick and my subsequent not bothering to watch it.
The problem with the kick is that the eventual kicker is not clearly identified by the referee prior to it being taken, nor is he inside the penalty area when the whistle sounds. As Sato is outside the box when the whistle is blown, he is ineligible as the taker. The taker should be in the box along with the defending goal keeper.
Read about the rule-breaking penalty on Reuters, here. Okabe has got his punishment, but I think in the spirit of fairness, Hiroshima's goal should be struck off the record, and the three points given to us.
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