This is a terrific story from Turkey.
Down the old Ottoman football food chain, last Saturday saw little-known outfits Canakkale Dardanelspor and Erzurumspor face-off in the domestic 3rd division, and the match turned out to be a 4-3 thriller in favour of the hosts. One moment, however, grabbed all the attention.
After one of their players suffered an injury, Erzurumspor whacked the ball out of play so that the medics could be allowed onto the pitch. The usual ethical protocol was then applied by Dardanelspor, and midfielder Ilhan Faruk kicked the ball towards the Erzurumspor keeper in order to return possession to the visitors. Only there was a twist as, unintentionally, Faruk lobbed a 45-yard shot into the Erzurumspor net.
That ignited several moments of confusion, which appeared to be quelled when Dardanelspor’s coach ordered his team to concede a goal at their end. Only allowing Erzurumspor to score wasn’t that straight forward either.
Ridiculously, a straight-laced referee ruled out an initial Erzurumspor equaliser from a Dardanelspor goal-kick because one of the visiting players was standing in the area when the place-kick was taken. Eventually, however, a fair play goal was scored as Fatih Sahin tucked the ball into his own net.
Related links: This isn’t the only occassion we’ve seen fair play this season.
Back in February a Mexican coach ordered his team to miss a penalty after it was won unjustly, whilst a similar situation played out in Italy in March as Vittorio Esposito (Termoli) intentional missed penalty vs Torres.