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Dirty Tackle

Lyon women’s team offer to replay French Cup match after referee mistake in shootout

Lyon, who won every match and only allowed five goals in their 20-match French Division 1 Feminine season, have offered to replay their French Cup semifinal against Montpellier after a referee mistake tainted the deciding shootout. Lyon won the shootout 6-5 after Montpellier's Rumi Utsugi had her first successful attempt disallowed because the ball moved just before she took her shot and her second successful attempt disallowed because the ref ruled the ball dead for hitting the post, even though it then went off the keeper's arm and in the net.

Montpellier were understandably aggrieved by this outcome and Lyon, who obviously have had no trouble winning without the help of the referee all season, have displayed an admirable level of sportsmanship by offering to replay the whole match.

From Reuters:

"Olympique Lyon confirm they have offered Montpellier a replay of their French Cup semi-final... (for reasons of) fair-play and taking into account the good relationship between the clubs," they said in a statement.

"They (the women's team) have done it like Arsenal and their coach Arsene Wenger did in 1999," Lyon added, referring to an FA Cup fifth round game against Sheffield United at Highbury.

In that FA Cup match, Sheffield kicked the ball into touch so one of their players could receive treatment for an injury. Not realizing someone was hurt, Arsenal striker Kanu set up Marc Overmars for the winning goal and sparking outrage. After the match, Arsene Wenger offered Sheffield a replay. Ten days later, the rematch was played and again Arsenal won 2-1.

The French Football Federation will reportedly decide on Thursday whether the replay between Lyon and Montpellier will be allowed.

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