Rio Ferdinand slaughters UEFA rules after Chelsea get away with one
In pictures: Chelsea v Dortmund
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Rio Ferdinand did not mince his words when quizzed on Chelsea’s retaken penalty in their impressive comeback win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The Blues managed to overturn a narrow first-leg deficit to reach the quarter-finals of the competition at the expense of their German opponents, with Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz on target for Graham Potter’s side at Stamford Bridge.
Havertz managed to seal the result from the penalty spot just before the hour mark but was given two chances to score after he was ordered to retake the kick due to players from both Chelsea and Dortmund encroaching into the box. His initial effort rebounded off the post but he made no mistake at the second time of asking to give Chelsea the lead on aggregate and send them through to the last eight of the Champions League at the full-time whistle.
Ferdinand was not happy with the situation, though, and made his feelings clear with a post-match rant about the encroachment law in his role as a pundit on BT Sport. He said: “It’s a poor rule, I think it’s a bad rule. Just because it goes to him [the Dortmund player], the ball goes to him and he kicks it [clear].
“If all of you are in the box I think it should be null and void and the penalty should stand. But if the opposing player is in the box as we can see here… what was so wrong with the rules before when we were playing? It was just go on, let the ball in the net and let’s go. If it came back out and everyone was in the net maybe you’d look at it.
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“They’re overdoing it, almost every player is in there. I understand that it’s the rule, by the law I understand it, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree that it’s a good law. It’s a bad rule.”
According to FIFA laws, the application of the rule can vary depending on which player encroaches and whether or not the ball hits the back of the net. If the attacking team encroaches into the box and the penalty is scored then it must be retaken, although an indirect free-kick will be awarded to the defending side if it is missed.
If the defending team encroaches into the box and the spot-kick is converted then the goal stands, but if the penalty is missed it should be retaken. Meanwhile, if players from both teams encroach into the box as was the case at Stamford Bridge, then the penalty is always taken again regardless of the outcome.
Former referee Peter Walton clarified that the correct decision was made after watching a replay of the penalty incident, which saw players from both teams make their way into the area before Havertz had made contact with the ball.
“That is encroachment, yes,” said Walton. “He’s clearly in the area there and what it is is he has a material effect on the ball. The ball comes back off the post and when you see it, it’s the player who’s encroached who clears the ball.”
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