'That's a very, very harsh decision' - Brian Kerr hits out at referee after Ireland U17's heartbreaking defeat
Brian Kerr described the decision to send off Ireland U17 goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran in his side's European championship quarter-final as 'very, very harsh'.
The Boys in Green crashed out of the European championship after losing 5-4 on penalties to the Netherlands in highly controversial circumstances.
Goalkeeper Corcoran saved the Netherlands' final penalty in the shoot-out, but Czech referee Zbynek Proske ruled that the Irish keeper had advanced off his line, giving Corcoran his second yellow card and ordering the penalty to be re-taken.
As Ireland were unable to replace Corcoran, defender Oisin McEntee was forced to step in goal to face the re-taken penalty, which Dutch captain Daishawn Redan scored at the second attempt to send his side to the semi-finals.
Speaking on RTE, former Ireland manager Kerr criticised the Czech referee's decision.
"That's a very hard one to take," Kerr said.
"I haven't seen a referee ever before give a yellow card for a goalkeeper because he dived too early.
"That's a very, very harsh decision. Whatever about giving a re-take, to send the goalkeeper off I don't understand why we've ended up with the centre-half Oisin McEntee [in goal].
"Technically he's correct to award a re-take, but it so rarely happens it seems a very, very harsh decision indeed."
Ireland had played out a 1-1 draw with a highly-rated Netherlands team, who had seen off the likes of Germany and Spain earlier in the tournament. Kerr praised the underage side's performance, and said the draw was deserved.
"Look it was a very good performance in the second half of the match," he said.
"We didn't have an awful lot of possession, but probably earned the right to get to the penalty shoot-out.
"It's a difficult one to deal with."