Monday November 19 2018
Penalty given for swearing

A match in Italy’s seventh tier will have to be replayed, after a referee gave a penalty for swearing.

Bacigalupo were 3-2 winners over Barracuda in Group D of the Prima Categoria on November 4, scoring the winner in the 95th minute.

During the match referee Salvatore Sangiovanni gave a bizarre penalty in the ninth minute of the second half.

Barracuda player Gianpiero Opsi was seeking to fire up his teammates, and used a blasphemous expression.

In Italy that constitutes the worst kind of swearing, with Udinese midfielder Rolando Mandragora given a ban earlier this year.

Barracuda immediately appealed to the Piedmont Regional Committee, and the game will have to be replayed.

Under the rules, a referee can punish players for using “offensive gestures or language, being abusive or threatening, or committing other verbal transgressions”.

However, the correct sanction is an indirect free-kick, so Sangiovanni was wrong to award a penalty to Bacigalupo.

The appeals board therefore deemed the decision to be a “technical error” and have ordered the match to be replayed.

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