Doncaster Rovers: Charlton Athletic fail to explain penalty shoot-out ‘safety reasons’

Charlton Athletic have not responded to our questions about the ‘safety reasons’ which came to the fore during their penalty shoot-out victory over Doncaster Rovers in the League One play-offs.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 11:20 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 11:22 am
Referee Gavin Ward is instructed to conduct the penalty shoot-out at the home end.

Matchday safety officers were seen on television telling referee Gavin Ward to conduct the shoot-out at the home end of The Valley.

The decision clearly did not go down well with Rovers captain Tommy Rowe, whose miss ultimately sent Charlton to Wembley, or goalkeeper Marko Marosi.

Rovers boss Grant McCann later admitted he was surprised by the decision but also insisted he had no issue with the protocol put in place.

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We contacted Charlton this week and asked them to outline exactly what ‘safety reasons’ were behind this decision?

We also asked who made the decision?

And were the referee and two teams aware of this decision before the game?

We got no response.

We also asked the EFL if they were satisfied that the decision was fair to both teams? And are they not concerned that this could set a dangerous precedent?

They are yet to reply.

We also contacted the Metropolitan Police to clarify their role. They said: "We police outside the stadium. This is a matter for stewards and stadium security."

The IFAB Laws of the Game state: “Unless there are other considerations (e.g. ground conditions, safety etc.), the referee tosses a coin to decide the goal at which the kicks will be taken which may only be changed for safety reasons or if the goal or playing surface becomes unusable.”

After the game, McCann told reporters: “We didn’t know about this but it was probably decided at the start of the game where the penalties were going to be taken because of the fans in the other (away) end.

“We found out just before the shoot-out - something to do with safety issues.

“It took us a little bit by surprise but you can’t argue with it. They made the call.”

After extra time ended with the two sides level at 4-4 on aggregate, Charlton won the shoot-out 4-3 following misses from John Marquis and Rowe.

The Addicks face Sunderland in the play-off final on Sunday.