Fair Play: Costin Lazar refuses to win a penalty (Rapid Bucharest vs Otelul Galati)

Credit to the guys at The Offside for flagging up this brilliant story for us.

Tens days ago Romanian side Otelul Galati travelled to the local powerhouse Rapid Bucharest with the visitors taking the ritual beating, going down 4-nil on the night. However four could have easily been five had Rapid midfielder Costin Lazar not refused to accept a penalty decision which was awarded in his favour. Robbie Fowler would have been proud.

The incident arrived just after the hour mark. Chasing down a probing pass, Costin Lazar looked to win a foot-race to the ball against Otelul’s Alexandru Bourceanu on the left hand side of the box. Bourceanu went to ground in order to win possession, and Lazar toppled over the defender with the ref immediately pointing to the spot.

Then the amazing happened.

After dusting himself down, Lazar turned to the official and started wagging his finger to show that the decision was wrong, slow-motion replays showing the Bourceanu had executed a perfectly-timed challenge to win the ball cleanly.

And then something which is extremely rare in football happened. With the players crowding around the area waiting for the spot-kick to be taken while simultaneously protesting the decision, the referee, convinced by Lazar’s protestations that he had made an error, chose to overrule his original decision in order to award a drop-ball instead, which the hosts immediately knocked out of play to restart the match.

Having brought you a series of cheating footballers in the past few months, it is a pleasure to redress the balance somewhat.

Costin Lazar’s superb act of sportsmanship can be seen here.

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