Scoring on an Injured Keeper: Péter Kovács Won’t Make the FIFA Fair Play Award ShortlistBy: Daryl | August 9th, 2009
Odd Grenland are through to semi-finals of the Norwegian Cup after beating SK Brann 5-1 at home yesterday. But that scoreline wasn’t the big story in Norwegian football today. The big story was Odd’s second goal, scored by Hungarian striker Péter Kovács.
You can see in the video above that Brann keeper Håkon Opdal’s knee gives out as he tries to clear the ball upfield. And so Kovács found himself in a cup quarter-final, with the ball at his feet, the keeper in a heap, and the goal gaping wide. And so he rolled the ball into the back of the net.
Protests inevitably followed, but since everything was within the rules, the referee had no reason to disallow Kovács’ goal.
The referee blew not, so I just followed the rules and scored.
It is a difficult situation. I understand the frustration of course, but – as said – I play only to blow the judge.
I am a tip [which I'm pretty sure means "striker"] and will score goals. The situation was an opportunity to do it.
Let’s ignore the bit about blowing the judge, or at least put it down to Google Translate, and move on to the merits of Péter Kovács argument.
It’s very easy to condemn the striker, but in Kovács’ defence you can see him stop and check to see if there’s been a whistle before he rolls the ball home. There hasn’t, so he does. That doesn’t make it right, but it does make it legal. Or, as Whitney Houston once said: “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay.”
And while it’s easy to watch this game as a neutral and say that Kovács should have stopped play… I can definitely see how – if Kovács is in a competitive mindset and wants to go to the Norwegian Cup semi-final – it makes sense to score when you get a chance.
If all that has left the taste of bad sportsmanship in your eyes, please feel free to refresh them with this video of Paolo di Canio, doing the exact opposite of Péter Kovács while playing for West Ham against Everton in December 2000:
Di Canio won the FIFA Fair Play Award for that act of kindness. Péter Kovács definitely won’t.