By Sean O’Brien21st January 2020, 8:36 pmUpdated: 21st January 2020, 10:20 pm
Dean Henderson pulled off a spectacular save to deny Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus from the penalty spot during Sheffield United’s 1-0 defeat – but should it have been retaken?
Replays showed the Blades goalkeeper was clearly several yards off his line when Jesus struck the ball.
The rules state goalkeepers must have part of one foot on the line when the penalty is taken – and numerous spot-kicks were retaken at the Women’s World Cup during the summer due to goalkeeper encroachment.
Already in the Premier League this season, we’ve seen penalties retaken due to players encroaching the box on more than one occasion.
So, why wasn’t Jesus allowed to retake his penalty?
Before the campaign began, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) decided to leave goalkeeper encroachment to on-field officials amid the chaos caused at the Women’s World Cup.
This caused controversy at FIFA, with legendary referee Pierluigi Collina, a member of the UEFA Referees Committee, warning the Premier League it must enforce the rule.
“The laws of the game are the same all over the world,” he said. “If the law exists, it must be respected.”
But despite pressure from world football’s governing body, the Premier League has held firm.
Admittedly, it appears a strange stance when VAR takes such a microscopic view on most rules, including player encroachment, in the English top flight.