How was Fred’s “Paradinha” penalty legal? (Vasco da Gama-Fluminense)

Just a few days ago it was reported that FIFA are taking issue with the “Paradinha,” or “little stop” in Portuguese. The paradinha describes the situation in which a penalty-taker runs up, gives a sudden little stop during which the keeper commits himself to dive one way, allowing the taker to calmly roll the ball in the other direction.

According to the current law, referees are asked to interpret whether a particular feint is to be considered “an act of unsporting behaviour.” Accordingly, the final decision currently rests with the man in black and there seems little guidance from the authorities as to what is considered “unsporting behaviour.”

The problem of the paradinha has arisen twice in the last few weeks in Brazil.

Just over a week ago Santos playmaker Neymar put Sao Paulo backs up when the penalty-taker virtually came to a standstill before slotting his spot-kick past keeper Rogerio Ceni. (Watch here.) While there was no protest at the time of the Neymar’s penalty, Real Madrid superstar Kaka put his neck on the line arguing “You would only see the paradinha in Brazil. The paradinha is an advantage for the striker. Where’s the advantage for the keeper?”

But if Neymar’s penalty was borderline, Fluminense’s Fred went a stage further last weekend in the match with Vasco da Gama.

Not only did the former Lyon player appear to come to a complete stop in his run-up, but Fred went further by pushing the boundaries with a fake-out before the forward eventually struck the ball into the net.

Fred’s paradinha was then followed by a slightly less exaggerated version from Vasco’s Cunningham, and Vasco in fact went on to win the shoot-out 6-5.

Fred’s extreme paradinha penalty can be seen here.