Lisa at LDSM posted this story up of some shameful behavior by parents during a penalty shoot out (or ‘kicks from the mark’ for you purists :) ) This blows me away. I know parents get out of hand – but using cell phone flashes to distract the kickers? That’s bad enough – but what about the league that allowed this to happen:

Up to 100 supporters of Moston Brook under-13s, who play in the Reddish and District League, and rivals Knuzden, of the Blackburn and Darwen District Junior League, were behind the goals at the Lancashire FA County Ground in Leyland for the Tesco-sponsored County Cup Final.

Can some our our UK readers clue me in here? Is this normal? Around here if parents drift around the corner flags, referees have been known to stop a match to clear them out. Some tournaments will squeeze the spectators between mid-field and the top of the box to avoid interference with corner kicks. Granted, many field layouts make this difficult. But I am floored that during a SHOOTOUT, the area behind the goal wasn’t cleared out. The FA is upset that the coaches came on the field to contest the ejection of the keeper. I want to know why the FA isn’t launching an inquiry into why the officials allowed a shootout with 100 parents behind the goal. That’s distracting enough, even without the flashes. I just can’t fathom any shootout being conducted with parents allowed past the 18. It’s just asking for trouble. I don’t care how cramped things are – stack them 5 deep if you have to, but keep them away from the goals.