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Question Number: 33887

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/17/2020

RE: Adult

AEK Fan Club of NY of NY, NY USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33352

BTW, the referee was the VAR assistant in the UEFA champions league final, where a similar case, as #1 was awarded a penalty to Liverpool, against Tottenham. So two different decisions, for two similar cases.


There was a 3rd incident in that game, seen here:

Can you please comment if this was a penalty?

Thank you in advance for your reply

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright


Looking at this incident - arms are draped over the opponent, but there still needs to be some restriction of movement to be a holding offence - or otherwise some foul charge or trip from behind.

All I can think when looking at this incident is that your arms do not fly straight up in the air if you've been knocked over.

So, it seems clear to me that this player has chosen to fall over to pretend the contact constitutes a foul.

No offence for me, but I can accept there may not be enough certainty to justify a card for a dive.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

For me, there is not enough there for a penalty. The defender's arm has come over the opponent's shoulder but the very slight amount of contact, in my personal opinion, is fairly incidental and not the cause of the attacker collapsing to the ground. That's just me though - another referee might see it differently.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

In the Champions League final penalty award for handling the Tottenham player had his arm raised, he made himself bigger and there was no comparison to the handling you mention in your previous question. In that case the Laws clearly state
**It is usually an offence if a player: touches the ball with their hand/arm when:
# the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger
# the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm).
Very much apples and oranges.
In my opinion the video in this question there was the possibility of a penalty as the defender has his arm around and over the attackers shoulders which can be a holding foul.
I suspect why it was not given was that the attacker clearly exaggerated the contact.
The modern Pro game with games that has VAR present has spawned exaggeration by players in their attempt to win penalties on review. If you look closely the attacker is shouting for the foul in a standing position as he realises the arm position of the defender and then goes to ground to me in an unnatural way. If he had gone backwards then perhaps but forward and down is highly questionable given the manner of the contact.
VAR reviews only look for clear and obvious errors by the referee and as the referee felt that from what he saw that there was no obvious foul there was no reason for VAR to intervene given how softly and the manner the attacker went to ground.
For me the plague of raised arms in the Pro game has not gone away even with VAR. Many suggest that if these were called there would be a penalty at every corner, free kick. Perhaps that might be the case yet until these are all called the shenanigans by BOTH sides at both ends will continue.

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