Blast files protest of OT penalty to Bowers

Healey: No such thing in book as 2nd-foul rule

Soccer

November 06, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Blast general manager-head coach Kevin Healey filed a protest with the Major Indoor Soccer League yesterday morning regarding his team's 16-14 overtime loss in Philadelphia on Saturday night.

In dispute is the two-minute penalty that was issued in overtime to Blast defender Sean Bowers that led to the KiXX's game-winning goal on the ensuing power play.

Bowers was sent off for receiving a second foul in the first 15-minute overtime period, but there apparently is no such penalty in the new MISL's rulebook.

The rules state that overtime is treated the same as regulation play, with any player acquiring four fouls in one half (30 minutes) assessed a two-minute penalty.

"I don't know how [the league] can justify this. It's just the referees had the rule wrong," Healey said.

"We followed the procedure, protested the game, and now I'm just waiting for the ruling on it. They know what was called and that's not a rule - I can't see how I can lose this protest."

Healey said he heard the public address announcer describe a "two-foul rule" while overtime was taking place and repeatedly asked senior referee Tamas Lauer about it, but received, he said, no adequate answer.

After Bowers collected his second foul in overtime, the referees got together at the scorer's table and determined a two-minute penalty should be assessed.

"It appeared to me they were looking at the rules and then they came over to me and said, `Coach, it's two minutes,'" said Healey, who protested the call at the time to no avail.

"I pride myself in knowing the rules. When they go over and look at this paper, it made me wonder that maybe I got it wrong somehow. [Lauer] didn't tell me that [they were looking at the rule book], but to me it was obvious that's what they were doing. Now what they were looking at, God only knows. I haven't found out yet."

MISL commissioner Steve Ryan met yesterday with Brian Fleming, the league's vice president of soccer operations, about the protest.

Late yesterday afternoon, the league stated it was not ready to make an official comment or ruling, awaiting video footage along with accounts from the referees and coaches involved, but did want to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

Healey said he expects to hear from the league in the next couple of days.

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