Al Nahdha’s goalkeeper Taisir Al Antaif was about to make a clearance early in the second half with the scores still at 2-2 – but noticed that his shoelace had come undone, and was clearly nervous about his boot coming off as he kicked.
The opposing striker bearing down on him, a Brazilian by the name of Jobson, noticed what was going on – but instead of trying to take advantage, he ran up to his opponent and did his shoelace for him.
Al Antaif, clearly enormously touched by the gesture, slapped his new friend on the back and gave him a high five afterwards before getting on with the game – but referee Abdulaziz Al Funaitel saw things differently, deciding to ignore all rules of common decency by penalising the keeper for taking too long with his clearance.
He awarded an indirect free kick inside the area, and the home side lined up, clearly fearing the worst as Al Ittihad’s strike force discussed their attacking options.
But in the greatest metaphorical two fingers ever stuck up to a match official, Al Ittihad did the decent thing and merely passed the ball safely off the pitch.
In a single stroke, the players managed to endorse a magnificently touching moment of sportsmanship between two opponents while highlighting exactly what an idiot the painfully officious referee had made of himself.
Wonderful stuff – and it makes us all the gladder that, at the end of this incredible match, there was no winner.
Or rather, there were 22 of them.
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