Anouar Kali becomes first footballer to be sent off by video referee

The Willem II midfielder made history against Ajax in the KNVB Beker.

Ajax Amsterdam v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League
Ajax in action. The Amsterdam ArenA witnessed a piece of football history. Image Photo Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Willem II midfielder Anouar Kali wrote himself into the history books after becoming the very first player to be sent off by a video assistant referee in the first competitive game using the new technology.

Facing off against Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena in the KNVB Beker, Willem II were 2-0 down when the red mist descended on Kali.

Flying into a challenge on Lasse Schone, the midfielder initially appeared to have avoided reprimand from referee Danny Makkelie.

However, on closer inspection it appeared that the challenge was more than worthy of a straight red card, with video official Pol van Boekel relaying his advice to the match official.

In all fairness, he had a point:

 

“I asked Pol whether he was 100 per cent sure and he did not have any doubts. It’s a clear decision then,” Makkelie explained after the game.

“The video footage speaks for itself. This is one of those moments where a video referee proves to be very useful.”

Down to 10 men for the final half hour, Willem II ultimately slipped to a 5-0 defeat with Kali’s absence proving key.

Once on the books with Ajax as a youth player, where he grew close to Wesley Sneijder’s less successful brother Rodney, Kali first made his name in the Eredivisie with Utrecht.

Still on 25, his place in football history, whether he likes it or not, is assured.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.