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Question Number: 34213

League Specific 5/5/2021

RE: Under 17

Callum P of Dundee, United KIngdom asks...

Our goalkeeper went out for the ball and ended up outside his box, he went to ground thinking he could kick the ball out. He never got the ball but he did made a genuine attempt for the ball. The referee said he did not and that although he never caught the player he could have. He sent him off and hes now banned for 2 games for Serious Foul Play. We want to appeal this as think he made a genuine attempt for the ball, do you think we would get anywhere with the appeal and how would be best to word it to give us the best chance? The opposite coach said he would back the appeal.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Callum
It all depends on the referee's report as to what the sending off was for and how it is described. You mention it was for serious foul play and without contact the manner of the challenge must have been extremely dangerous for it to be SFP.

Making a genuine attempt to play the ball is not immunity from sanction as there are many SFP type challenges that attempt to play the ball yet the manner of the challenge endangers the safety of an opponent. Case in point would be a challenge were a player leave the ground and lunges at an opponent from a distance. The player might be attempting to win the ball yet it is still a foul and misconduct.

Now I could easily see where a goalkeeper would be sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity for an offence outside the penalty area that met the 4 DOGSO conditions.

As to the likelihood of an appeal being successful it is highly unlikely if it is opinion based with no independent 3rd party evidence such as video. The best I can say is that the appeal should be based on the no contact with the opponent argument if it is SFP. If it was a DOGSO red card then there is little hope of an overturn in grassroots.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Callum,
unless you had solid video evidence, CLEARLY showing the incident from a great or multiple angles this incident had no SFP components you have almost no chance of overturning the decision.
A red card is an auto no more play that game and at least 1 match after but you say 2 games? That must mean there was a league disciplinary ruling already?
SFP can carry up to 3 to 5 games, even more, depending on the circumstances & big fines.
Generally, the right to dispute is time-sensitive (usually within 24-48 hrs) and often carries a non-refundable fee to do so.

ITOOTR (in the opinion of the referee), your keeper acted in a dangerous manner & used excessive force to win the ball. The tackle attempt endangered the safety of the opponent!
SFP (serious foul play) means there WAS a challenge for the ball because if it was not so, then VC (violent conduct) would apply.
The no contact aspect is NOT a failsafe to not be carded, albeit a red card for SFP as opposed to caution for a reckless act is a higher threshold

Keep in mind, my assumptions are speculative, what ifs?
You must deal with the actual referee report as to how, why, who, what, when, and where specifics are listed for basing his SFP decision

I will assume a few things based on your description of the event.

The opponent moved or lept out of the way as the freight train keeper slide past him?
The opponent may have fallen or lost his balance in doing so avoiding being on the tracks
The opponent lost control of the ball, it may have gone into touch?
There was no advantage played!
The keeper's cleats may have been facing in the player's direction, locked legs adding to the danger element of just force (mass/speed)?
There was no goal.
A PK was not awarded as the incident was OUTSIDE the PA.

What is not clear is if the 4 DOGSO criteria were met (very plausible)
If SFP and DOGSO exist simultaneously while SFP takes precedent as the more culpable action of the event, DOGSO itself is not automatically SFP.
A DOGSO event inside the PA can be only a caution, show a yellow card if as you say, it was a legitimate challenge but outside the PA it is a red card send-off event, team is down a player.

When I coach, I tell my players the referee is a match condition, much like the weather, be it rainy, windy, sunny or dry you do the best you can to overcome any adverse conditions & try to use the good ones to your advantage. We are always respectful even if not in agreement lol Cheers

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