The Botswana Premier League (BPL) has confirmed that a penalty similar to Lionel Messi’s famous ‘passed penalty’ is allowed in the local league. Fans across the world had debated the legitimacy of the penalty taking technique due to the fact that such a penalty routine had been scarce in recent years.
The technique requires a penalty taker to deceive a goalkeeper by passing the ball into the direction of an onrushing teammate who has to be outside the penalty area when the taker touches the ball, the onus will be on the onrushing player to make contact and score the passed penalty. Many have labelled the technique as disrespectful while others have applauded the creativity behind the now infamous routine.
BPL Chief Executive Officer Bennett Mamelodi told Gazette Sport that as per FIFA laws the penalty is legal and applies everywhere around the world. “Yes, it is allowed as it is provided for in the FIFA Laws of the Game (Law 14),” Mamelodi briefly stated.
Experienced penalty taker Pontsho Moloi, the Mochudi Centre Chiefs captain, sees no problem with the style. He noted that a telepathic understanding between players aiming to execute the technique is vital if the trick is to be successful, he also stated that timing and practice are also important.
“It is an interesting technique but it has to be practiced a lot in order to be perfected. Robert Pires and Thierry Henry once tried it for Arsenal against Manchester City and it failed. The first step is to make sure that the ball is set in a forward motion, it should not be passed backwards or sideways. A few of the guys here (at Chiefs) have tried it in training. It is only safe to try that penalty when you have a healthy lead in the game because it is risky, a golden opportunity could be wasted if it is not done the right way,” said Moloi.
Dynamos FC (a Zimbabwean side) striker Rodreck Mutuma tried the penalty trick in a friendly against Wha Wha FC but failed as defenders of the opposing side tracked the run of Mutuma’s onrushing teammate Valentine Ndaba into the box and tackled him, deflecting the ball out for a corner.