Riverhounds game will be partially replayed due to a referee error

In an astonishing twist, the USL Championship admitted a “glaring” refereeing error and decided that last Saturday’s game between the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Miami FC will be replayed from the 67th minute with the Riverhounds holding a lead. from 1-0.

The game, which initially ended in a 0-0 draw, will resume Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Miami.

On the game in question, Devon “Speedy” Williams of Miami fired a free kick about 35 yards from his own net, playing the ball to defenseman Janos Lobe, who casually passed the ball to goalkeeper Connor Sparrow. The Miami goalkeeper was unprepared for the back pass, however, and the ball slipped through his outstretched right foot and inside the post for what appeared to be an embarrassing own goal.

After a long discussion, referee Jonathan Bilinski awarded a corner kick to the Riverhounds, which would have been the correct decision if Miami had inadvertently sent the free kick straight into their own net without anyone playing it first.

The USL, the Organization of Professional Referees and the International Football Association Board investigated the game and found that “a glaring error and improper application of the FIFA Laws of the Game had occurred”.

The investigation found no evidence of “match fixing or irregularity”.

“In this case, the match officials applied a law that did not unequivocally correspond to the events on the pitch, and the decision on the pitch exceeded the reasonable degree of human error which is intrinsically part of the game,” said USL President Jake Edwards. A declaration.

“This extraordinarily rare circumstance necessitated the decision to ask two of our Clubs to replay the remainder of a match with the score 1-0. With the support of PRO and the IFAB, we have taken this step to protect the integrity of the League, our competitions and football. We thank Miami FC and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC for their understanding and commitment to the integrity of our competition.

The Riverhounds issued a statement expressing their satisfaction with the decision.

“As a club, the Riverhounds fully agree with the league’s decision,” the statement said. “Based on the precedent set by FIFA and its member federations when there has been a misapplication of the Laws of the Game, we believe that a replay is the fairest outcome for our team and Miami FC, and that will allow the result to be settled by the players on the field.

“We would like to thank the USL Championship and the Professional Umpiring Organization for their diligence in these unusual circumstances.”

The result could play a vital role in the ranking of the playoffs.

Prior to the decision, the Riverhounds were in a difficult position in the race for second place in the USL Atlantic Division, which comes with a first-round home game in the playoffs. They were tied with Charlotte with 52 points, but Charlotte had a game in hand.

Now the Riverhounds are one point behind, but including the replay from Miami, they also have three games left to play.

The Riverhounds will host Charleston on Saturday and Hartford the following Saturday.

Charlotte still has games with Hartford on Friday, Loudoun United on Wednesday and Austin Bold FC the following Saturday.

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