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Question Number: 32278

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/4/2018

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Foul recognition question

Ok, so the CR messed up with this no penalty call with this challenge.

Question is - is there enough in it for a red from SFP.
We know, that slow motion replays can make things seem worse then they are, however, the defending number 9*^goes straight through her opponent at a reasonable speed.

*what on earth is a number '9' doing back there !!
^ typical tackle of a number '9'.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
This should have been a penalty and the referee is out of position so she cannot really make a call on it. She makes a guess that it was outside and that the player fell inside the penalty area? If she is not sure then she cannot make the call. Her position need to be further left and wider. With VAR this would be dealt with by the award of a penalty kick.
As to the manner of the challenge it is certainly a caution. There is not enough in there for me to make it serious foul play as it looks like the bodies came together without excessive force or that the action endangered the safety of an opponents such as using a boot. It is certainly a reckless challenge which makes it a caution.
Also read nothing into numbers any more. Squad numbers mean that midfielders can be any number including 9. For that matter in a tournament the player can be filling in for an injured / suspended player at right back etc

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russel,
stone-cold PK caution show a yellow card, just a bit less than SFP as the foot was not a studs up punch through, more a a late drag. Number on the jerseys for id as part of competition rules do not state positional certainties?

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Russell,

First off, here's how I handle these situations when I'm a referee, I've seen a foul but I can't see which side of the PA line it's on (tends to happen at parks level with faded lines that you can't see from far away).

When I blow the whistle, I can at least see the blade of grass it happened on. I'll lock my eyes on that blade of grass. Absolutely nothing will break my gaze from that blade of grass. I'll keep sprinting until I can actually see that blade in relation to the line. Then I can make my decision. Blow the whistle hard, keep running in, then either point to the spot as I'm running or stand on the mark and signal direction.

There are a few concerns here. The first, obviously, is that this was a stonewall penalty and the referee has made a critical, match-changing error here.
Echoing Ref McHugh, the referee was out of position. The referee was too central. That's interesting - I've noticed in our Australian A-League that a number of incorrect decisions have occurred when the referee has also been too central rather than moving left in scenarios like this.

I'd want to see the referee sprinting to a region near the top left corner of the PA. The exact position will depend on what's happening by the time she gets there and where other players are - but in this position, she isn't maintaining an effective ref-ball-AR line, or even an effective triangle that allows her to look at the AR. If she looks at the AR from this position (if the ball was crossed in), she has to take her eye off play - and you really don't want to do that in a crowded penalty area. I noticed in the play before it when Australia took possession, the referee almost got in the way of play by running to a central position.

If you have players near the PA line and you can't see the line, then that's an indication that you need to move - fast. When the long ball was played I think the referee should have started moving earlier. The referee needs to look up to see which attacking options are available and move into position in preparation - it's the old WHERE, WHERE, GO! principle. As a result she got caught behind a bit - and unfortunately chose to remain central rather than sprinting left. In fact by the time the foul occurred she was slowing down - despite being a long way out of position.

The PA lines running parallel to the touch lines are 100% the referee's responsibility. Having said that, if she really had no idea then I think she should have conversed with the ARs. The near AR probably couldn't help, but the far AR and 4th official could probably tell it was inside the PA. And especially with wireless comms, there's no excuse for not checking.

The other big concern is that she hasn't recognised the seriousness of the foul. A short whistle doesn't indicate a big reaction. She actually stops running some 20 yards away - for an incident like this you need to keep sprinting. Because if you do that, by the time the players look for you, you're already 10 yards closer to the incident than you were when you blew the whistle. Really helps with credibility. Here, everyone knows she was out of position.

Also, this is a clear reckless foul. I'm really surprised at the referee's lack of response here. The defender came in very late and quite hard. She was quite indecisive too - held the whistle to her mouth for some time before actually making a decision.

Even if you miss the seriousness of the foul, the tactical nature of the foul should also warrant a card. She would have had a reasonable, but NOT obvious chance at goal, and had an unmarked teammate heading to the far post. This was a very good attack going and it was disrupted by a foul. That alone warrants a card here.

I don't think there was sufficient force or danger for a red card. There was a fair bit of force but the leg stopped as soon as it hit her so the force was reduced, and there was no other dangerous element (such as studs). Had the leg continued through the attacker on a full swing then it would probably be a different story.

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