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Sportsmanship or self-sabotage? Leeds United miss out on promotion

Some are calling it an astonishing act of sportsmanship.

Others have branded it stupefying act of self sabotage.

Whichever way you cut it, the result remains the same:

Leeds United stay relegated.

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa told his players to let Aston Villa score an uncontested goal last night’s Championship game.

The goal meant the game ended in a 1-all draw, dashing Leeds’ dreams of a top two finish and certain promotion to the English Premier League.

The uncontested equaliser arose from controversial circumstances after Leeds’ opening goal was scored while an in injured Aston Villa player lay injured on the pitch.

It’s convention in soccer – and an act of sportsmanship – for the ball to be kicked out of bounds when an player is injured.

Leeds broke convention and used the advantage to score, which resulted in a heated on-field melee and a red card for Villa defender Anwar El Ghazi.

Leeds United will now spend another year in the Championship while Sheffield United and Norwich are promoted to the Premier League.

Understandably, debate is raging over Bielsa’s decision to allow Aston Villa to score unchallenged and sabotage Leeds’ chances of promotion.

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