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Bizarre Scenes As Croatian Player Gets Sent Off For His Penalty Kick Run-Up Routine

Peculiar red cards are given every once in a blue moon during professional games, but a Croatian player on Dinamo Zagreb may have taken the throne for the most bizarre. This Bruno Petkovic red card during his penalty kick routine is a new one.

Bruno Petkovic Red Card Penalty Kick

We’ve seen a player get a second yellow card for taking his shirt off and Raúl Jiménez get two yellow cards in 30 seconds, but a red card during a penalty kick is unheard of. 

Why Was Petkovic Sent Off?

The call was unusual but it wasn’t wrong. During a penalty kick, a player is allowed to feint and stutter step their way up to the spot but the feinting must stop when the run-up is complete. Petkovic has a slight hesitation while he’s swinging to kick the ball, which unfairly sends the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Neymar is a connoisseur of stutter stepping his way a penalty kick, but you’ll notice the feinting and hesitating doesn’t take place when he swings his leg to kick the ball.

The controversial decision is one of those rules in soccer that's rarely called. Players do this sort of stuttering all the time with some of those feints happening after the run-up. The referee just decided that Wednesday was the day he would call this.

The only other call I can think of that shocks everyone when it’s called is the rule that a goalkeeper can’t hold the ball for longer than six seconds. The last time I’ve seen that called was the 2012 Olympics, where the USWNT found a late game-tying goal because of that decision.

Petkovic might feel hard done by the referee’s call, but at least his side Dinamo Zagreb still won 2-0.

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