Controlling the ball is a fundemantal skill in the sport of soccer.
Players often master it at a young age, and it’s expected that professionals need only to use their instincts to make the ball go where they want. This is why Olesandr Noyok‘s case is so strange.
Noyok was cautioned for a bad tackle in the 35th minute of Ukraine’s game against Austria in the UEFA U-21 European Championships. The ball came toward him as he was walking away from the referee, so he did what any soccer player would do: control it with his first touch.
Unfortunately, the ball ricocheted off his foot and went straight into an opponent’s face. “Surely he did that on purpose,” the indigant Austrians thought. The referee agreed and showed Noyok a second yellow, ending his day with the obligatory red card.
When a player’s first touch abandons him or her, bad things usually happen on the soccer field.
Watch the needless red card in the video below.