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KNOW YOUR LAWS: Ireland goalkeeper sent off in penalty shootout

Ireland Under 17 goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran (RTE screenshot)
Roar Guru
15th May, 2018

Nine years after the Thierry Henry handball ruined Ireland’s chances at qualifying for the 2010 World Cup another referee decision has robbed Ireland again of progressing in a major tournament.

Following a 1-1 draw between Ireland and the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the Under 17 European Championships the game went to penalties.

Jimmy Corcoran appeared to keep Ireland’s dream alive when he saved Dutch captain Daishawn Redan’s decisive penalty only for the referee to rule that he had come off his line early.

As a result, the referee showed Corcoran a yellow card which was his second for the match. It meant the young goalkeeper was sent off and he left the field in tears.

Ireland was not allowed to use substitute goalkeeper Sean Bohan and instead defender Oisín McEntee was forced to go in goal for Redan’s retaken kick which he, of course, slotted knocking out Ireland.

Law 14 states:

‘..the defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts until the ball has been kicked.’

Technically Corcoran did step off his line but there have been much more blatant attempts in the past.

The commentators were certainly furious and couldn’t believe Corcoran was booked for the offence but the law is clear in this regard.


It states that the kick should be retaken and the goalkeeper cautioned.

The referee was also right in not allowing substitute keeper Sean Bohan to be brought on.‘If the goalkeeper is sent off during the taking of the kicks from the penalty mark, he shall be replaced by a player who finished the match.’

Should the referee have shown some leniency in this case or was it a fair call?