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Question Number: 32936

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/29/2018

RE: Rec Adult

russell of Sydney (home of the worlds best New Year Fireworks), Australia asks...

Keen to hear the panels thoughts on the awarded penalties and VAR crossed out goal in the Juventus v Sampdoria Serie A.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
In my opinion neither penalty awards were deliberate handling. I can see no deliberate movement of the players arm to the ball nor any deliberate action in either situation and both look like accidental contact to me.
In the first one the player has his head down and the ball hits his arm in a natural position and in the second one the ball comes from short distance off a defender again hitting the player in the arm which is at his side.
Both in my opinion were harsh calls and not deliberate handling for me.
But anyway it was the referees calls to make having seen it on VAR. I think because he gave the first one he had to be consistent and give the second one.
As I said in the last answer on deliberate handling it is now one of the most difficult calls in the game. Plus a penalty is such a big decision that the Law needs to be amended significantly here for decisions such as these.
If I was to conduct a straw poll on both I would get divided opinions on both incidents and without VAR I doubt that they would be even considered. I believe that one if the downsides of VAR is second guessing and another senior referee as VAR asking the referee to review. That suggests to the referee that another referee believes that there is deliberate handling.
Perhaps the solution is to make these types of contact on the arm an IDFK as technical handling not the deliberate action of a player stopping the ball with his hand / arm in an unsporting manner which should continue to be a direct free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russel,
complete utter foolishness . Plain & simple these are gifts of undeserved opportunity in NO way are these worthy of a PK . It seems though because the players, coaches, fans & pundits ALWAYS scream for a call they are being given at the slightest whim. Thus in a bid for consistency they are making almost any or all contact a foul. Look how hard the players work to not foul by trip or blatant pushes or pulls yet being unable to remove their arms while playing becomes a free shot on goal? Bloody bonkers if you ask me!

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