Goalkeeper Junior Morales shown red card for some gentle pat of encouragement.


The decision to send off a goalkeeper who had gently patted an opponent on the backside has made the Honduran game a laughing stock, according to the director of first division side Marathon has said.

Footage has emerged of the game played last month between Real Sociedad and Marathon, in which the referee awarded Real a second penalty and sent off the Marathon keeper, Junior Morales, after he tapped an opponent on the behind as he cleared the penalty box.

The linesman drew the referee’s attention to the ‘incident’ and after a brief discussion the referee awarded a spot-kick. The goalkeeper refused to leave the pitch, the Marathon players complained and the referee abandoned the game. The Honduran FA’s disciplinary committee awarded all three points to Real Sociedad.

“It’s the strangest decision I’ve ever seen in football, it’s totally absurd,” Marathon’s director of football, Rolando Peña, said. “The world is laughing at us and at the referee.”

The decision was ratified last week by the Honduran FA’s appeals court has reportedly cost Marathon an estimated $120,000 (£77,000) in lost sponsorship and gate money, Peña said.