FIFA Precedent is clear – Northern Ireland should get replay

On 12th November 2016, South Africa beat Senegal 2-1 due to the awarding of a penalty for a non-existent handball. After reviewing the incident, the referee admitted afterwards that an error was made.

The immediate FIFA response to the public outcry was to investigate, then ban the referee. A ruling was also made that the tie in question should be replayed as soon as possible.

Northern Ireland suffered an almost identical fate when this poor decision was made by the match official in the home tie of their World Cup playoff with Switzerland.

Other senior referees and officials, current players, former players, experts, journalists and the vast majority of neutral observers managed to spot that this penalty should never have been awarded in the first place.

Crucially, the match referee himself has now admitted that he made an error in awarding this penalty. Cruelly, this poor penalty decision was ultimately the deciding factor in the fixture and has cost Northern Ireland dearly.

Given there is a clear precedent for reviewing such a contentious decision; we fully endorse the petition and the calls for an investigation into the match official’s handling of this decision – and we support calls for a replay of this tie to take place as soon as possible.

The petition can be found at this link: https://t.co/ygDf9bJQ83