Malaysia defender Azam Azmi hit Doan Van Hau outside of the pitch but the referee still gave Vietnam a penalty and according to FIFA’s law of the game, it was a correct call.
In the 59th minute of the AFF Cup match between Vietnam and Malaysia on Tuesday, Van Hau chased Azmi down the box, but couldn’t get to the ball. As Azmi cleared the ball, Hau kept pressing him and both of them fell out of the line. When Azmi got up, he kicked Hau and the Vietnamese defender was in pain.
Japanese referee Ryuji Sato witnessed the whole incident and after a moment of hesitation, he decided to award Vietnam with a penalty. At that moment, Vietnam were leading 1-0 but only played with 10 men due to Nguyen Van Toan’s red card in the first half.
Malaysia players surrounded Sato as they did not agree with his decision. After consulting linesman Jun Mihara, Sato decided to give Azmi a straight red card, in addition to the penalty. Que Ngoc Hai successfully converted from the spot and doubled the lead for Vietnam.
Former Vietnam Football Federation referee head Duong Van Hien explained that the ball was still in play when Azmi kicked Hau so even though the foul took place outside of the pitch, the free kick spot will moved to the nearest position, which in this case is the penalty area. The referee gave Azmi a red card for misconduct.
According to FIFA’s laws of the game, “a penalty kick is awarded if a player commits a direct free kick offense inside their penalty area or off the field as part of play.”
Vietnam’s two other goals in the match came from striker Nguyen Tien Linh’s header in the 28th minute and Nguyen Hoang Duc’s chip in the 83rd minute. The 3-0 victory over Malaysia help Vietnam top group B. The team will play Singapore on Friday.
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