There’s a common belief that certain things happen ‘only in Estonia’. ‘Ainult Eestis’ as local say, only in this country’s football.
The one happened yesterday at an Esiliiga game (second tier of Estonian football) is one of those and we can consider it a kind of update to the 'Baltic Guide to Goalkeeping'.
The fixture was between JK Vändra Vaprus and a side from Tallinn, FC Puuma.
We won’t add anything and just leave you with the incredible footage and the story told by one of the FC Puuma players, Italian midfielder Andrea Castelnovo.
Andrea normally plays in Kaitseliit Kalev (4th tier), which is the second team of FC Puuma. Recently has been called up many times into the first team, including the quarter final game against FC Infonet (top-flight side).
This is his incredible testimony:
‘’There were less than ten minutes to time of a rather unlucky game for us. I had just been substituted and I didn’t even have time to reach the changing rooms that Vändra had already scored two more goals. After the fifth goal, I just witnessed something I never did before in my career, both in Italy and Estonia: our goalkeeper (Lithuanian Vitas Maliśauskas – edit) simply walked away from the pitch! I was surprised, he just walked quickly away without turning back and he even reached the changing rooms before me! All happened so fast that neither Puuma players nor the referee (Andrei Karhu –edit) did realize that! You can see from the video (above –edit) that the game restarted very quickly without any hesitation. However, I am sure the lineman (Martin Lember –edit) did see it clearly and I am very surprised that he didn’t inform the match director. Soon after the game had restarted, a Puuma player (number 3 – edit) stepped in as goalkeeper, used his hands in the penalty box and as a consequence he was sent off. I believe that in the confusing moment he didn’t realize our side had to communicate the change to the referee before. However, there wasn’t really chance to do that’’.
Apparently, the referee could not show a yellow card to the goalkeeper as, according to RdS sources, there’s no yellow card in the referee’s papers.
The Lithuanian shot stopper was simply frustrated at his side lousy defensive performance.
According to rules, the referee has the power to use a card even after the final whistle. Assumingly, he was unable to reach the unruly goalkeeper who simply vanished. If the referee of the game has reported the episode in his papers, the Estonian FA will probably make provision for a suspension.
FC Puuma are not new to these kind of episodes.
Last year one of their players was suspended for several months for kicking an opponent in the guts (episode here, minute 3:53 – the video went viral reaching quickly over 100,000 clicks).
This year the club was given a three-point penalization due to licence application missing few pre-conditions.
The club points tally is still below zero as FC Puuma have collected only two points and are currently bottom of the table.