Top 10 bizarre penalties: passes, punishments and premature celebrations

Tim Ellis picks out some of the strangest ever spot-kicks, from Lionel Messi's pan-faced audacity to the one that was retaken SIX times

1. Look behind you in the game of thrones

It was because of them that I had lots of goalkeepers from all around the world calling me to show their support

- Khalid Askri

FAR Rabat and Maghreb Fez's last 16 tie in the 2010 Moroccan Throne Cup went to a penalty shoot-out. After pushing away a spot-kick from Ali Benaamar, Rabat keeper Khalid Askri turned to the crowd and kissed the club's badge, too busy grandstanding to notice that the ball had spun backwards and into the unguarded net.

Maghreb won the penalty shoot-out 7-6 and, still reeling from his nightmare a few weeks later, Askri cemented his tag as 'the unluckiest goalkeeper in the world' when an embarrassing piece of (mis)control led to his side conceding. Still, it wasn't all bad news.

"These videos made me very well-known," he later reflected. "It was because of them that I had lots of goalkeepers from all around the world calling me to show their support, even [Gianluigi] Buffon.” Never dismiss the power of the goalkeepers’ union.

2. Six and out, says referee

Ariiotima penalised Serbian players who had drifted into the box, and called them out again on the fifth attempt

Tunisia's 2004 Olympic campaign finished off in memorable fashion, when they were forced to take the same penalty no less than six times in a 3-2 group stage win over Serbia and Montenegro.

The Eagles of Carthage were awarded the spot-kick in the dying embers of the match, which Mohamed Jedidi stroked confidently into the corner. However, referee Charles Ariiotima ordered the penalty to be retaken twice more after Tunisian players invaded the area, before Jedidi then had his fourth kick saved by Serbian keeper Nikola Milojevic.

Yet the fun wasn't over there. Ariiotima penalised Serbian players who had drifted into the box, and called them out again on the fifth attempt, as Milojevic saved again. Are you still following?

Jedidi held his nerve to convert the sixth kick, which was deemed legal. After all of that drama, neither side managed to reach the quarter-finals - probably because they were too exhausted.

3. Vietnamese team turn to mannequins

The visiting keeper then somersaulted over the ball to deliberately concede again from the restart

In a deadlocked V-League game between Ho Chi Minh City and Long An, events took a sinister turn when the referee awarded a penalty to the hosts in the 90th minute. Long An goalkeeper Nguyen Minh Nhut was so incensed with the decision that he turned his back on the spot-kick before it hit the net.

The keeper then somersaulted over the ball to deliberately concede again from the restart, while his team-mates were equally rooted to the spot as Ho Chi Minh walked in another goal unchallenged to win 5-2 and leave their opponents bottom of the table. 

Minh Nhut and Huynh Quang Thanh received two-year playing bans for their involvement in Long An’s statuesque performance, while the team's coach and chairman were suspended for three years. Ouch.

4. Rafa isn't cheesed off by pen being chalked off

It was the wrong decision: the penalty should have been re-taken, but the officials didn't seem to know the rules

With Newcastle contesting a tight game against Burton as they pushed for the Championship title last term, referee Keith Stroud decided to make their life more difficult. Matt Ritchie stepped up to score from 12 yards at St James' Park, but Stroud awarded a free-kick to Burton when Dwight Gayle encroached in the area.

It was the wrong decision: the penalty should have been re-taken, but the officials didn't seem to know the rules.

“Unfortunately, the referee has misapplied the law," a PGMOL statement read. "Keith and his team are understandably upset at the lapse in concentration and apologise for the mistake.”

Rafa Benitez, ever the pragmatist, insisted that his side kept their concentration and set about defending the free-kick. Fair play. His side did eventually win the match 1-0, no thanks to the officials.