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Police arrests referee over ‘phantom penalty’

Serbian referee Srdjan Obradovic has been arrested and questioned on abuse of power charges after awarding a wrongful penalty kick in last Sunday’s crucial top division soccer match, the country’s interior ministry (MUP) said on Tuesday.

“Obradovic is suspected of abusing his authority in the match between Spartak Subotica and Radnicki Nis to favour the home team against their rivals,” MUP said.

“He will be detained for 48 hours and handed over to the prosecutor in charge.”

Spartak won the match 2-0 to nose ahead of Radnicki into third place and a Europa League qualifying slot ahead of the last round of matches, courtesy of two penalties with the latter leaving viewers and the visitors perplexed.

A Radnicki defender deflected an innocuous low cross from the right with his feet making no contact with any of the home players, but Obradovic awarded the spot-kick and gesticulated that the would-be offender had handled the ball.

The howler also prompted Serbian FA chief Slavisa Kokeza to ask the soccer authorities to punish Obradovic accordingly and suspend him.



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