England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has labelled the stricter interpretation of penalty laws preventing goalkeepers moving off their line before a penalty kick “cruel and pedantic” after Scotland were knocked out of the World Cup in controversial circumstances.
Scotland were the second side at this World Cup to be penalised under the strict application of the laws, which require the goalkeeper to have at least one foot on the line when the ball is struck, after keeper Lee Alexander had initially saved a crucial spot kick against Argentina.
There has been widespread criticism of the law in general, but also the fact VAR is being used to enforce it, something which will not happen in the Premier League next season.
There also a growing unease that the Women’s World Cup has been used to “trial” the use of VAR to spot infringement, something that would not happen in the men’s game. In 2015, Fifa also trialled the use of artificial pitches Canada, which led to failed legal action by the US team who claimed it was discriminatory and increased the risk of injury.
“Fingers crossed, fortunately nothing has really happened to us [with VAR] but it just seems cruel, and so pedantic,” said Bardsley, who has been in excellent form so far at the tournament. “We were briefed by the referees and they did mention that if we do move off the line…but if it’s a toenail.
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