In what appears to be an unprecedented move in the USL Championship, but not completely in the professional sports landscape, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Miami FC will have a do-over.
That is, the match played between the two sides, played on October 16, has been ordered by the USL Championship to re-play the final 24 minutes, beginning in the 67th minute, with the Hounds holding a 1-0 lead.
Here’s USL Championship statement:
Upon review of the Oct. 16 match, the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) determined that an officiating error and misapplication of the FIFA Laws of the Game occurred in the 66th minute. A goal was initially and correctly awarded to Pittsburgh because a Miami player played the ball into his own net during the run of play. After conferring on the field, the match officials erroneously disallowed the goal and awarded a corner kick to Pittsburgh.
Independent investigations by PRO and the USL found no evidence of match fixing or impropriety.
“In this instance, the match officials applied a law that unequivocally did not match the events on the field, and the ruling on the field exceeded the reasonable degree of human error that is inherently part of the game,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “This extraordinarily rare circumstance necessitated the decision to ask two of our Clubs to replay the remainder of a match with the score at 1-0. In consultation with PRO and IFAB, we have taken this action to protect the integrity of the League, our competition, and the sport of soccer. We thank The Miami FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC for their understanding and commitment to the integrity of our competition.”
Here’s the Hounds’ Club statement:
As a club, the Riverhounds fully agree with the league’s decision. Based on past precedent set by FIFA and its member federations when there has been a clear misapplication of the Laws of the Game, we believe a replay is the fairest outcome for both our team and Miami FC, and it will allow the result to be settled by the players on the field.
We wish to thank the USL Championship and the Professional Referees Organization for their diligence under these unusual circumstances.
The Riverhounds are eager to move forward and complete their remaining three regular-season matches, beginning with tomorrow’s scheduled match at 7 p.m. against the Charleston Battery, as we prepare to compete in next month’s USL Championship Playoffs.
MADE IT! https://t.co/b1htI5Znm7
— Steel Army (@SteelArmy) October 22, 2021
With this decision, the USL Championship’s Atlantic Division Standings remain with Hounds-Miami draw (one point each), but that could swing depending on the result remaining 24 minutes to be played on October 27.
|1||Tampa Bay Rowdies||30||21||7||2||30||65||
|3||Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC||30||15||8||7||16||52||
|4||The Miami FC||30||14||9||7||10||49||
Earlier this week, following the match, PRO issued the following statement, admitting the mistake made by the officials.
This of course is not completely unprecedented in U.S. sports.
In 1983 during an American League baseball game played between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Sunday, July 24, 1983.
With his team trailing 4–3 in the top half of the ninth inning and two out, the Royals’ future Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett hit a two-run home run to give his team the lead. However, Yankees manager Billy Martin, who had noticed a large amount of pine tar on Brett’s bat, requested that the umpires inspect his bat. The umpires ruled that the amount on the bat exceeded that allowed by rule, nullified Brett’s home run, and called him out. As Brett was the third out in the ninth inning with the home team in the lead, the game ended with a Yankees win.
The Royals protested the game, upheld by American League president Lee MacPhail, who ordered that the game be continued from the point of Brett’s home run. The game was resumed 25 days later on August 18, and officially ended with the Royals winning 5–4.