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Question Number: 32454

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/16/2018

RE: Select Under 19

Keith of Las Vegas, NV USA asks...

Mike Dean gave a YC for GK handling just outside the PA on a lobbed shot by Middlesboro vs Aston Villa in Premier League promiton semi-final. I know its a judgment call on if the other defender could get back in time had he not handled it to be consideme ed a DOGSO, and when not sure on a grey area I typically go with the lesser of two calls/penalties, but in this case it seems Id have to be sure the defender would get back on whats clearly a desperate move to save a goal. Am I thinking right? With the advantage of replay I think its a bad call because I think that ball is going in the goal, but thats not what my question is focusing on so much as which way a Ref should lean.

About 2:00:

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Keith , a referee with integrity see what he sees.
It is very close, the keeper is well out at first but back tracks and is actually standing on the PA line to where I briefly wondered if the ball had been breaking that 5 inch invisible water fall to get wet when it was handled. I will assume the AR had input here. Once the CR determined it was DH outside the PA given it awarded as a DFK means that DOGSO has to be considered. I would not have faulted the CR if he had sent the keeper off. He did not and would likely explain his decision to those in attendance at the post game review, given I think as you, it was very likely the ball was goal bound . The retreating defender MIGHT have had a shot at clearing it but???? Your match. Your Decision. Your Reputation is always based on incidents like these

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Keith,

The law talks about two scenarios where either a goal or a goal scoring opportunity is denied by illegal handling. This is potentially an example of denying a goal, rather than a goal-scoring opportunity. The two offences are different and use different criteria.

The key question for the referee to consider here is whether the ball would have entered the net, if not for the keeper's actions in stopping it with the hand outside the penalty area. If the referee judges that the ball would have gone in the goal, the player should be sent off. If the referee judges that the ball would not have gone in the goal or is not sure, the player would not be sent off, but cautioned. The referee should not lean towards one outcome or the other, they should just make a call based on what they judge to be the true situation.

In this particular incident, the ball has travelled such a short distance between the player taking the shot and the keeper handling it, that I think it is difficult to be 100% sure that the ball was definitely destined for the net. If the referee is not sure where the ball is going, the keeper cannot be sent off.

I must admit that at the time I was expecting to see a red card and as ref McHugh points out, that would probably have engendered much less debate. It was only when thinking about it in retrospect that I could see how a caution could also be a justifiable decision. I certainly think that those on social media who are calling for referee Mike Dean to be suspended or sacked, or who are even questioning his integrity (mostly Middlesbrough fans, obviously) are over-reacting somewhat.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Keith
This decision caused quite a bit of a stir and there is divided opinion on it.
The first point is that as Referee Grove points out there are many in the game who see a distinction between denying a goal and denying a goal scoring opportunity.
So my take on it is that it was certainly deliberate handling which was punished by a direct free kick.
Now as the attacker got away the lob with no possible follow up nor directed to an team mate but directed at goal it can be opined that a goal scoring opportunity may not have been denied.
Now the more difficult question is whether the illegal action denied a goal. That is the out clause being used by the referee in this case and no doubt that he will argue that he was unsure if the handling denied a goal or not which is why he went with yellow. Some have argued to the distance, the covering defender, the possible direction of the ball that it was not certain that a goal was denied hence the decision to go with yellow.
Referee Mike Dean could be seen moving his hand to his hip pocket which suggests that his first instinct was red and on reflection he changed his mind. In the past I have one such situation and I was unsure it was also a clear denial of a goal so I also went with yellow. So I know where Referee Dean was on this as I have been there and I have the T Shirt.
I reflected on that decision after the game and these are my thoughts now on it
1. I believe most in the game expected a red card
2. While a certain clear goal may not have been denied the illegal action denied that from being a possible outcome.
3. The sanction is to prevent denial of having the chance of a goal being scored by illegal means or not.
I think if I had it over I might dismiss the goalkeeper as it was a deliberate illegal action done to stop a possible goal. The goalkeeper has only one thought which is to stop a goal and he does not know if the ball is going wide or not.
There is uncertainty in many of these DOGSO situation with almost crystal ball gazing as to what happens next. Say had the DHB not happened there was a good chance of a possible goal and should that be denied without the dismissal sanction?
Maybe if I put it this way. Had Referee Mike Dean sent off the goalkeeper there would be little debate about the decision.

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