Penalty Goals In Football

Francis LoughlinContributor IJuly 2, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02:  Asamoah Gyan of Ghana reacts as he misses a late penalty kick in extra time to win the match during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Uruguay and Ghana at the Soccer City stadium on July 2, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images)
Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images

So Uruguay go through to the FIFA World Cup semi-final thanks to a major flaw in the rules of the game which gives a huge advantage to blatant cheating. Football is the only major sport which does not allow the referee to award a penalty score. If you are a defender standing on your goal line in the final minute of the game then it is a major advantage to your team for you to sacrifice yourself and stick out your hand to block a goal bound shot. The worst that can happen is that your team concedes from the penalty kick, in which case you just delayed the inevitable. But the benefit of this action is that the penalty kick is missed meaning your team holds onto their lead, or the game remains drawn.

Tonight that scenario actually happened, the last kick of the game was that missed penalty, Uruguay weren't penalised at all by being down to 10 men and went on to win the subsequent penalty shoot out, a major injustice in a tournament with more than one faux pas by the officials. Surely the rules can be rewritten to allow the referee to award a goal when a ball is illegally stopped from crossing the goal line?