By Chris Wright
An amateur game in Italy is to be replayed in its entirety after the local football authority declared the referee had sent off the wrong twin brother by mistake.
According to the Guardian, Michele Rossi, who plays for amateur league side SSD Castello in the ninth tier of Italian football, was sent off during a recent game against GS Alviano despite the fact that it was his twin brother, Matteo, had committed.
Matteo Rossi, who plays up front and had previously put Castello 2-1 up, committed a foul that led to a skirmish erupting between the two teams.
However, amid the ensuing fracas the referee (known only as a Mr Cirillo) marched over to Michele and mistakenly issued him with his marching orders.
Marco Brusco, sporting judge of the Umbria regional league organisation, explained the error in a statement on behalf of his organisation.
“The referee, purely due to error, in the 27th minute of the second half, sent off Castello’s number seven Michele Rossi instead of their number nine Matteo Rossi,” said Brusco, adding: “It was an error that had an undoubted impact on the game and as such the match should be replayed.”
We can just see Andre Marriner now; running around the streets of Birmingham, tears streaming down his cheeks as he frantically points at a copy of the Guardian, yelling “SEE, IT CAN HAPPEN!” at bewildered passers-by.