Collina demands cards for keepers moving forward at penalties
By John Irish
PARIS (Reuters) - Goalkeepers who move forward off their line when a penalty is taken must be given yellow cards and spot-kicks retaken even during a shootout, UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina said on Friday.
Collina, a former World Cup final referee, told reporters that the standard of officiating at Euro 2016 had been excellent with referees benefiting from a new pre-match analysis of team tactics and players that gives them extra insight.
He acknowledged, however, that there had been at least one big mistake in the group stages during the Croatia v Spain match when Croatia keeper Danijel Subasic saved a penalty after advancing well off his line to stop the shot.
"The keeper moved forward. It was not spotted by the referee's team. It was a mistake. Unfortunately it happens, but it was a mistake within a match that was refereed well," Collina said.
He said the tournament's remaining 12 refereeing teams had debriefed on Friday ahead of the knockout phases and among the topics discussed was keepers moving off their line.
Collina, the most distinctive and famous referee of modern times remembered for his piercing blue eyes and bald head, said the issue was not a trend, but had to be stopped.
"Referees should pay attention that the penalty kicks are taken correctly," Collina said.
"It should be retaken ... (and) whenever the goalkeeper infringes, he will be cautioned," he said, adding that it should also apply during penalty shootouts.
As part of the most significant rewriting of the laws of the game for more than 100 years, soccer's lawmaker, the International Football Association Board (FABI), in March made wholesale changes to the laws, including on penalty kicks.
If a kicker tries to deceive the goalkeeper by stopping and starting in his run-up, the right to have a retake is removed and instead, the defending team are awarded an indirect free kick and the attacking player is yellow carded. If goalkeepers move off their line they should also be yellow carded.
However, Collina was adamant that the level of refereeing at the tournament had been generally excellent with few errors, more accuracy for example in terms of offsides and fewer yellow cards or dangerous tackles compared to 2012.
He put that down to a conscious effort before the tournament for him and his team to discuss the key issues with the 24 squads, and a new system that enables referees to analyse teams before matches.
"We have always tried to improve the standard of their performances and thought this was possible if the referee knows more about the match that they are going to referee, because then you are one step ahead," Collina said.
Referees and their assistants are now given an hour with football coaches who have analysed their upcoming game to give them insight into how teams play, ranging from the way they may take free kicks to how their players position themselves on the pitch.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)