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 By Chris Wright

Honduran goalkeeper sent off for patting opponent, 'world is laughing'

The decision to send off a goalkeeper for patting an opposing striker on the backside has turned the Honduran football league into a worldwide laughing stock, so says the director of first division club CD Marathon.

In what surely must be a footballing first, the game between Marathon and Real Sociedad in the Honduran top flight on Oct. 12 saw Marathon goalkeeper Junior Morales sent off by the referee for gently patting the backside of Real striker Eris Hernandez.

Having scooped the ball up inside his own area, Morales innocuously tapped Hernandez on the bum as he ran past him, only to be shown a second yellow card for doing so after the referee was tipped off to the so-called "aggression" by his linesman.

With just minutes of the game remaining, Morales refused to leave the pitch as the Marathon players swarmed around the officials to complain.

As such, the referee abandoned the game there and then, with the Honduran FA's disciplinary committee subsequently awarding all three points to Real.

"It's the strangest decision I've ever seen in football, it's totally absurd! The world is laughing at us and at the referee," Marathon's director of football Rolando Pena told Reuters after the punishment was ratified by the FA's appeals court on Monday.

Pena also claimed that the abandonment of the fixture had cost his club an estimated 120,000 dollars in lost sponsorship and gate money as Marathon went on to miss out on making into the league playoffs by two points.

As if to grind a handful of coarse sea salt into the wound, Real Sociedad -- with a helping hand from the extra three points awarded to them by the Honduran FA -- went on to finish up in fifth place, therefore qualifying for next week's playoff fixtures at Marathon's expense.

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