Unprofessional Foul


November 23, 2009

Referees Are Awful: Stray Cat Edition

NK Medimurje: soon to be sponsored by PETA

NK Medimurje: soon to be sponsored by PETA

Noted feline enthusiast and NK Medimurje goalkeeper Ivan Banovic had an up-and-down weekend: helping a cat, failing to prevent defeat away at Sibenik, and getting punished by the referee for his troubles.

20 minutes into the T-Com Prva HNL league game, Banovic abandoned his goal to scoop up a stray kitten who’d wandered onto the pitch, leaving the field to carry the cat to safety. A noble act indeed, until the referee booked Banovic for leaving the field of play without permission. Surely some leniency can be applied to an animal lover? According to attending media, Sibenik fans booed the ref for the rest of the game thanks to his objective interpretation of the rule book, though they were happy in the end as Sibenik prevailed 1-0 to move to 2nd in the league table.

Still, it brings up the notion of the rulebook on a case-by-case basis. Banovic was surely protecting the cat and the fairness of the game via his kind-hearted deed; imagine if the kitten had blocked a goal-bound shot, injuring itself in the process? And yet, the ref’s actions remind us that in this game we call soccer, the laws must be applied as they’re written (except in the case of egregious cheating via handballs OH GOD LOOK I’VE ONLY GONE AND MENTIONED IT AGAIN!).

Best of luck to Banovic and NK Medimurje this season. May they be so contientious for the remainder of their games.

(and for those of you curious, here is the precious kitty in question)

About the Author

James T


  1. Wedel

    And here I thought I was going to get a Brian Setzer/footy tie-in. Don’t know if he played, but he definitely would have made my All-Barnet team if he did.

  2. this is decidedly a step in the wrong direction for our “more puppy content” directive

  3. Keith

    Patience, Kid. Kittens will draw as much of a female readership as puppies.

  4. Anonsters

    Puppies draw male readers, too, dammit.

    Don’t judge me. :P

  5. ebullientfatalist

    I clicked on the link – the kitten was soooo cute!!! – but then saw this story under the “Most Popular Stories” column.


    The link kindasorta gives the whole story away, until you get to the last sentence.

    CroatianTimes.com: “We’ve got Croatia covered.” You certainly do.

  6. MCR

    Completely offtopic:

    On Football Weekly, the Guardian’s Sean Ingle is complaining about the tendency of American teams to call themselves “World Champions.” Well, MLS teams don’t, and Britain is certainly welcome to send their best American football, basketball and baseball teams over.

  7. Anonsters

    MCR, don’t you know, everything Americans do is arrogant and ridiculous?

  8. MCR

    Yeah, but that doesn’t mean someone who eats couscous and garbanzo bean casseroles is entitled to point it out.

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