It’s hard to believe how blind a refereeing crew can be, even when there’s no real need for a replay back at home to see what actually happened. In a match between Royal Antwerp and Geel (Belgian second division) referee Dieter Van Esch managed to completely blow a situation in which a dive by Marijn Steurs of Geel, which happened outside the box, turned into a penalty kick despite the non-foul.
Antwerp were leading 1-0 after a 70th minute goal from Kevin Tano. In the 90th minute, Steurs broke on the right wing between three Antwerp players. He leaped over the stretched leg of John Bostock, and landed in the penalty area.
Despite the proximity of the linesman, referee Dieter Van Esch was convinced it was a penalty kick, and Gideon Boateng gave Geel the 90th minute equalizer from the penalty spot. There was no foul, and certainly no penalty kick, because the alleged contact was made outside the box.
Antwerp are managed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who didn’t really hold it back after the match, feeling his team was done wrong by an arrogant piece of refereeing.
It’s not my style to groan, but the official’s decision was simply ridiculous and cost us two points. I’m especially upset for the boys, because they have worked hard and were robbed.
After the draw, Antwerp are third in the Belgian second division, dropping two points for the first time this season, while Geel are still closer to the bottom, ranked 14th, getting their first points of the season.