And here is the drama. 89th minute of play, Benzema sinks into the Belgian defense and is dismantled in the small rounding in a semicircle, just in front of the penalty area. The referee, a Bulgarian postmaster in Sofia, whistles a free kick and not a penalty. France is screaming. France is wrong. Because the small round is not part of the penalty area. And then the Bulgarian posts – like the referees of this level – are demanding on the rules.
The king “penalty spot”
Because it is only a question here of regulations and especially of measures useful for playing the game of football. Let’s go over the basics: if the dimensions of the green rectangle immortalized by Thierry Roland can move from 90 to 120 m for the length and from 45 to 90 m for the width, other measures are immutable. Like the goal (7.32 m long by 2.44 m high, square posts excluded) or the distance from the penalty spot located 11 m from the Grail. Among others. But the penalty spot and the measurements have a utility to justify the presence of the small round, posted in lookout in front of the penalty area. They are even essential.
Everything is in the measure
At the beginning of football, the small roundness, or the arc of repair for the purists, did not exist. Nothing. Nada. Nib. For 38 years, he was in the ether of conscience and the penalties, installed since 1899, were drawn without a small roundabout. But in 1937, the English froze. This is no longer possible. Rules are rules and one has just been broken for so many years. Because you see, the penalty area is 16.50 m from the goal to the lines. Immutable, impossible to change. The penalty spot is full axis at 11 m. Engraved in marble. The players must stand 9.15 m from the kick taker, and not enter the box before the kick taker. A principle that cannot be withered away, Good Lord. A peno remains a face-to-face between gentlemen, between the shooter and the goal keeper that nothing should disturb. And there is still the drama. If the penalty kick taker is 11 m from the goal, and a player is standing on the penalty area line free of the small flare, he is only 5.50 m from the kicker. Do the subtraction. Do it. 5.50 m.
The sad status of the small round
So the noble assembly of the rules of footballing art had an idea. Take the penalty spot, draw a small rounded figure in front of the area ensuring that the penalty taker will have no one within 9.15m of him. The little round was born in the cheers. Thus, today, during the penalty shoot-out, everyone is asked to stay outside the area and the small round. This is its only utility. And it is not because Benzema has just fallen into it, on this final day, that he will change status. He will never be part of the promised land known as the penalty area. It’s just its forward harbor, governed by the same rules as any vulgar square centimeter of lawn, 40 m from the goal. The little rounded is a noble without particles or a priest without a cassock. It’s a bit sad after all.
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