Reuters Soccer Blog
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Catania’s Gianvito Plasmati engaged in an unusual bit of distraction when he pulled down his shorts before team mate Giuseppe Mascara curled in a freekick during a 3-2 Serie A win over Torino.
According to Italy’s referees’ chief and former top official Pierluigi Collina, showing off your underpants to a rival goalkeeper counts as unsporting behaviour and deserved a yellow card.
“It was a student joke,” Plasmati said. “It certainly wasn’t a lack of respect for opponents and the public.”
At first no one noticed Plasmati’s stunt because pundits were more concerned with Catania’s controversial tactic of building their own wall, five metres behind the Torino wall, and then charging forward in time to avoid being offside when Mascara took the kick.
Why don’t teams put a man on the post when defending a free kick? Week after week I see free kicks fly into the corner of the net with the keeper helpless at the other side of the goal.
The match winner from Owen Hargreaves in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday is a case in point. Here in Italy at least one free kick is scored like that every weekend.