Federer jokes Evans handball 'a clear penalty for Switzerland'

Sporting News

Tennis star Roger Federer has joked the controversial spot kick given to Switzerland in their World Cup play-off win away to Northern Ireland was a "clear penalty".

Ricardo Rodriguez scored the only goal of the game in Belfast on Thursday, converting from 12 yards after referee Ovidiu Hategan gave the visitors a penalty for a handball against Corry Evans.

The Northern Ireland midfielder blocked a shot from Xherdan Shaqiri with his side as he turned away from the ball, with Northern Ireland coach Michael O'Neill describing the costly decision against his side as 'staggering'.

But a tongue-in-cheek Federer, who is preparing to play at the ATP Finals in London, suggested he agreed with the controversial call made the Romanian referee.

Federer was a little cheeky in discussing this penalty. Pic: Omnisport

"I heard the Northern Ireland guy was trying to catch it, like a handball," the veteran Swiss joked.

"And it was a clear penalty for Switzerland.”

Switzerland will host the second leg against Northern Ireland on Sunday, with Evans suspended after he was booked following the decision.