Soccer game

A blundering referee ended a Spanish soccer game a minute early, then forced the players to come back and finish – even though they had already removed their equipment and left the pitch

  • Sevilla’s 2-1 win over Granada in La Liga on Sunday ended in chaos.
  • The referee blew the final whistle too soon, after which the players left the pitch and took off their shirts and boots.
  • They were then asked to get dressed and play the remaining time.

Sevilla win 2-1 over Granada in the league Sunday ended in chaos after the referee mistakenly whistled a minute earlier, before insisting the players return and finish the game despite many of them having already left the pitch.

Sevilla took the lead at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium in the 16th minute when Ivan Rakitić headed home from the penalty spot, before Lucas Ocampos doubled the home side’s advantage early in the second half.

Granada then gave themselves a late lifeline through Roberto Soldado’s 90th-minute penalty, leaving the visitors four more minutes to find an equaliser.

However, after just three of the four minutes allocated, referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea then whistled.

As the Granada players protested, the Sevilla players headed for the tunnel, with some removing their shirts and boots.

Bengoetxea’s error was later confirmed following a review by the video assistant referee. After the review, the Spanish official insisted that the Sevilla players come back and finish the game.

They did, managing to see the last minute without conceding to secure a crucial win in the La Liga title race.

Sevilla sit just three points off the top of the table in fourth, with victory also securing their place in the Champions League next season.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. Some of our players had taken their kits off,” Sevilla’s Ocampos said after the game.

“We have achieved the club’s first goal and we now have five games left, all of which are like finals. We are very motivated and very excited. Our hope is still intact.”

Sevilla next face Athletic Bilbao on May 3.