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Match in Belgium to be replayed after VAR error

A football disciplinary body has ruled that a match in the top tier of Belgian football between Anderlecht and Genk will be replayed in full after a VAR error led to a misapplication of the laws of the game.

The incident occurred in the 23rd minute of the match when Genk forward Yira Sor followed up on teammate Bryan Heynan‘s missed penalty to finish beyond former Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who had saved the initial spot-kick.

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Replays showed that Sor was inside the penalty area as Heynan struck the ball, causing the VAR to recommend to referee Nathan Verboomen that the goal should be ruled out.

However, the replay also showed that two Anderlecht players had also encroached into the penalty area, which, according to the laws of the game, should have resulted in Genk’s penalty being retaken, rather than the match officials’ decision which was to award Anderlecht a free kick.

Anderlecht eventually won the match 2-1 via a 91st-minute winner from Anders Dreyer on Dec. 23, 2023.

Belgium’s refereeing body had initially ruled that the match would not be replayed as they regarded the incident as a VAR error rather than a misapplication of the laws of the game.

However, Genk appealed the decision to the Disciplinary Council for Professional Football who overturned the refereeing body’s decision and ruled that the match should be replayed in full.

“The Disciplinary Council for Professional Football has ruled that the Anderlecht – KRC Genk match at the end of last year should be replayed,” Genk said in a statement.

“The Disciplinary Council initially declared itself competent to rule on the matter. This overturned the earlier decision of the Professional Referee Department not to replay the match.

“The Council then followed KRC Genk’s argument that the match officials misapplied the rules at the penalty phase in question. KRC Genk hopes that a date will be found soon to replay the match.”

Anderlecht trail Belgian Pro League leaders Union St.-Gilloise by eight points, while third-placed Genk are 13 points behind.


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