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Sports

Match restarted - for 18 seconds - after referee blunder

UEFA has for the first time ordered a match to be restarted after a clear refereeing error in the last seconds of a women's U19 EURO qualifier. The rest of the match took place on Thursday evening with a new referee.

European football's governing body UEFA has ordered that a women's U19 European Championship qualifier will need to be re-started, after a refereeing mistake last Saturday.

UEFA says the final 18 seconds of the match between England and Norway had to be replayed on Thursday night. The restart began from the moment the incident, involving German referee Marija Kurtes, took place.

The historic ruling, which has never been used by UEFA's disciplinary committee, comes after the England Football Association made a formal complaint after the game in Belfast on Saturday.

With Norway leading 2-1, England scored from the penalty spot in the sixth minute of injury time but it was disallowed when an England player encroached the penalty area. Kurtes then wrongly awarded a free kick to Norway instead of retaking the penalty.

A similar incident has happened before in a match between Bahrain and Uzbekistan, but it is the first time it's happened in a EURO qualifier, and it's the first time that the match will pick up from where the error was made. Back in that instance in 2005, the full game was replayed after a penalty was disallowed, also after an attacking player encroached inside the box.

The match was resmued at 20:45 UTC in Belfast on Thursday. Leah Williamson stepped up and scored the penalty, which secured a 2-2 draw for England.

apc/al (AP, UEFA)