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Question Number: 33077

Mechanics 2/16/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33071

I agree the wait and see approach is very important, however, I worry that Football is going down the path of our local Rugby League, where rarely a 'try' is awarded without going to check with their equiv of VAR.

While more correct outcomes are a valid reason for VAR, it just bugs me that it means a referee's strength of character (and therefore part of the 'romance' of football) in making a call - right or wrong - is watered down.

It's complicated.
I don't disagree with the feedback from Ref McHugh and Dawson and respect and learn so much from their comments, however it is mentioned...'The possible foul was not IMO part of the VAR review which was to deal with the offside flag after the goal.'.
Yet, if we follow what VAR was to consider at the WC, then they should have looked at 'all possible infringements in the attacking phase' to quote a link provide on this sites Home page.

As mentioned in the original post, I'm keen to hear the panels thoughts on the loose 50/50 challenge in the 'attacking phase' leading to the goal.
Fair enough that we determine the mechanics are ok, but should / did the VAR considered 'all possible infringement in the attacking phase' ?

Presumably they did, and determined not an issue, and if so, that is what puzzles me (or at least has me rethink what I think is a foul " whereas more educated think otherwise - and so I learn) as jumping in and making contract on a player leg (without playing the ball - or even getting close to the ball), seems to be a foul in the written LOTG.

Look at the penalty awarded today in the W A-League Grand final.
Sam Kerr is awarded a penalty for contact made on her. The contact was no more or less then the contact in the Athletico v Madrid match (certainly was poor timing of a challenge that ended as contact on player as opposed to the ball).
Not a lot different in principle - i.e. - unintended contact made.
Today was a penalty. days ago in La-Liga it was a 'no call'. BTW, I don't dispute the W A-League penalty.

As to the penalty in the La-Liga match - when did the LOTG change to allow us to consider...'POSSIBLE contact'.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Let me deal with the possible contact comment.
The video on the Madrid penalty award is inconclusive and there is only, in my opinion, a strong possibility of contact inside the penalty area. Had VAR seen that there was no contact nor any possibility of contact then the decision would have been overturned.
Once there is no clear obvious error on behalf of the referee then the onfield decision stands.
As to the possible foul at half way I do not see an obvious error here by the referee. It was a judgement call made by the referee which again based on video evidence was not a clear obvious error. He probably saw it as a legal charge with one player coming out on top. I can see that as a 'correct' decision. Yes another referee can see a possible foul which he calls and so be it. VAR cannot referee the game for the match officials.
I believe the referee used VAR appropriately and to use your comment may have had the strength of character not to *go back* to the possible foul. VAR protocols state that the referee and other match officials are not permitted to give *no decision *as this will lead to 'weak/indecisive' officiating, too many 'reviews' and significant problems if there is a technology failure. Remember that VAR does a silent check on every incident and alerts the referee to any missed call or obvious error. I have looked at the incident again and I can see why a call was not given nor the need for VAR to intervene. If that decision was to be reviewed it would have to be been done by the referee at the pitch side screen. It is not the VARs call to make just that he can alert the referee. Offside review is done in the VAR room. The way play unfolded and the signals used plus no pitch side review it suggested to me that the review was for the offside. Perhaps human nature nay have allowed the VAR official to look again at the foul incident in the build up to the offside yet he did not request the referee to look at it.
As to the penalty award in the Grand Final there is no comparison. The player is kicked on the shin by the defender who missed the ball completely. In the build up to the foul there was some modest contact outside the penalty area by the defender yet not sufficient for a foul in my opinion. The decision on the penalty was without doubt a clear foul and it was not even contested. If that was missed by the CR I believe VAR would have alerted the referee. That though did not need to happen.
In the Madrid game it looks like side to side contact with the ball within playing distance of both and I assumed deemed a legal charge . Looking at it again at worst it is doubtful with the AM player just being stronger side to side and the RM player somewhat off balance at contact which causes him to fall.
For completeness an attempt to kick or to trip is a foul. I could easily opine that the defender clearly on the wrong side of the attacker was attempting to trip up the opponent which is a foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
Even if you think there was a foul in the Spanish League game, I don't believe there is too much mileage in comparing it to a similar but different incident in a different football match. You can always find perceived discrepancies between different referees' judgements of foul challenges, in different circumstances, in different matches if you want.

Also please note that even if VAR is to look at potential offences in the attacking phase, the offences still have to have been the subject of a clear refereeing error in order for there to be a possible reason for a reversal. The underlying principle is still that, ''The original decision given by the referee will not be changed unless the video review clearly shows that the decision was clearly wrong.''

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell,
I always held the opinion that if they introduced technology into the game to decide if referee is right or wrong those officiating would be pressured by the knowledge their decisions could be reversed and they made to look foolish if they made a bad decision. So now they tend to make no decision and let VAR take the heat instead of them. A non decision is still a wrong decision but it beats a bad decision they reverse him or her on!

What is difficult as Esse's decision back in 98 showed when he made a correct call but the cameras missed it? Only 2 days later did an alternate video show him to be right. The original decision given by the referee will not be changed unless the video review CLEARLY shows that the decision was CLEARLY wrong.'' But what if they pressured ESSE in 98 given the available footage clearly showed nothing? It still should be up to the referee on the FIELD to make the call NOT the VAR. The VAR can say have a look we see this here but if the referee says no way it was then the referee should be the one to make the decision. If the picture convinces what he saw he did not see then only HE changes the decision no on else! ESSE would have known the cameras were wrong because he WAS Sure what he saw!

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