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Question Number: 32231

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/12/2018

RE: Rec Adult

russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Foul recognition question

Am keen to hear the panels thoughts on the penalty shout challenge from Smalling on Gayle in the Man U v Newcastle match.

Also, a question on the high foot challenge from Valencia on Atsu. Clearly the foot was high and dangerous, and the IDFK an yellow card appropriate result if there was no contact.
However, as Atsu from Newcastle was reacting as if there was contact - why not a red card.
If the CR deemed no contact and so no Red, then there was presumably no contact. So if that was the case (no contact), why was Atsu not carded for simulation ?
Surely there is either contact and a red, or no contact and yellow for simulation.

Could it be possible to have a Yellow for the high foot dangerous play, AND, a Yellow for simulation?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
The challenge by Smalling on Gayle was a foul and it happened inside the penalty area it was a penalty kick. Having looked at it from a refereeing perspective Referee Paulson got himself in a poor viewing position with player obstructing his view. The camera view from in front clearly showed the foul yet the referee does not have this view. VAR would have resulted in a penalty kick.
On the Atsu incident again video shows also somewhat of a different story than what would have been viewed by the referee and perhaps the 4th official. There could have been some contact and it is inconclusive. It was certainly reckless by Valencia with the very high boot and in the referees opinion excessive force endangering the safety of an opponent was not used so it was not a red card. Atsu makes the most of it and therein is the challenge for the referee not to be pressured into a decision. The referee would certainly have seen the nature of the foul yet not the extent of it. Again from behind and at speed there would have been doubt on both the contact and the extent of the injury.
If it was certain that there was simulation of injury after a high boot that made no contact then I believe there is a possibility of a caution for both depending on the circumstances. It is unlikely though in most game contexts as it is probably going to be one or the other. If there is obviously no contact nor close to it then a caution is highly questionable and if a player feigns injury then that is simulation and a caution.
In my opinion the correct decision was made in the game context although on review there are grounds for a dismissal. Catching a playing with a boot on the side of the head is a red card offence. The challenge for the referee is making such a call under pressure knowing full well that players feign the extent of injuries now.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell ,
I have to think the CR was unsighted as it was a trip and at the corner of the PA it appeared inside. I too think a VAR decision could have resulted in a PK.

If the CR was unsure there was contact I can accept the yellow for the high foot ! I am very much in the red zone as it is not a stationary player trying to clear a bouncing ball but one moving forward with the foot being shoved cleats first into the face of the opposition. My instant thought was I saw contact between the two. I have no qualms about a red card for such a challenge.

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