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Question Number: 31746

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/31/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Downunder asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31743

To me it seemed like he did not need to make the contact with the AR (myself in this instance).
The push was certainly more about gaining a better position then it was about protection of an unavoidable collision.
It was quiet apparent that it was a calculated push to benefit an advantage.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Context is very important. The player though circumstances found himself in a position where a split second decision is made. We have all been there and we cannot expect players to not use the position they find themselves in to benefit play.
The facts are it cannot be a foul and if it is deliberate intentional push of a match official that could and should have been avoided then it is violent conduct and a sending off. There is no middle ground here of a caution.
A good many seasons ago a player made contact with me from the side as he went for a ball. I was unsure if it was my movement that caused the contact although I had a *feeling* it was the player who chose not to avoid me with no apology or even complaint about getting in his way. I really had only two choices which were to accept it as accidental or send him off for VC on a match official which is a very serious offence. Ronaldo after pushing a match official slightly got banned for 5 games recently. As I could not see the players movement I decided to do nothing which in hindsight was the best decision. I had no further issue with the player. Had I decided to take action I would have had all sorts of problems to contend with including the team arguing that it was accidental and that it was as much my fault as his. The sending off report would have been difficult to write that the contact was without doubt intentional and VC.
When I am on the line as a rule I try to move well back from the touchline so as to not impede movements. I also find that it give me better depth in viewing ongoing play.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell,
you know what you know, then act upon it, if it is actionable! There is a reason we try to stay away from the ball or play so we do not become a post or corner flag but if the act is unnecessary and NOT accidental it is violet conduct and even a minor shove as you have seen results in harsh sanctions!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
If the push was deliberate, then as my colleagues have said it is a sending-off offence and a VC offence against a match official is usually considered very seriously and would normally result in severe sanctions against the offender so you would need to be quite sure of this and make it clear in your report.

Based on your original description this did not come across to me as an act of violent conduct against a match official but if you're sure that's what it was, then it would have to be sanctioned accordingly.

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