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Question Number: 33352

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/15/2019

RE: Adult

Antonis Klidas of Athens, Greece asks...

In the recent cup final PAOK vs. AEK in Greece (Saturday 11 May 2019), there were two cases of penalty against PAOK:
1. In the first case, the ball hits clearly the hand of a PAOK defender. The VAR pointed this out to the referee, who eventually did not call it a penalty.
2. In the second case, there was a penalty against AEK player Livaya which was called offside, however, AEK claims that the ball came from a PAOK player.

Can you please comment on the above?

Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Antonis
1. For me the referee got the decision correct. It was not deliberate handling. The current advice is **it is not usually an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm:
# directly from the player's own head or body (including the foot)
# directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close
# if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
# when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body.
From what I see here the ball rears up off the players foot and the arm is close to the body. So not deliberate handling for me
2. On the second one the AR got the decision wrong. The ball is last played by a defender to the player in an offside position so it could not be offside. The AR I believe thought the ball was played by an attacker who was screened by the defender.
For what it is worth I do not agree it was a foul on the attacker. My view is that the attacker made the first contact on the defender so it could easily have been a free kick to the defending team.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Antonis,
I agree with my colleague Ref McHugh, the handling resulted in a rebound off his foot in tight, close quarters, very quickly. It is likely the swing of his free arm and the palm out was enough for the VAR to think perhaps he cupped the hand to push the ball down but saw him try to pull away instinctively as if being scalded . We might assume the referee missed seeing the contact (being in behind with the attacker in front,) as the VAR advisory asking him to look at it, he ruled it a non foul anyway.
I was not overly impressed with the AR positioning from many of the significant scenarios he was 4 or 5 yards out of line with the 2nd last opponent in arriving at offside decisions. Again I need to agree with my colleague Ref McHugh, there is some degree of justice if that the NON offside wrong call prevents what I see could have been an unjust PK. I think the yellow player created the foul against the white player. So an INDFK instead of a DFK out.

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