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Question Number: 34243

Law 11 - Offside 6/13/2021

RE: Competitive Adult

Peter Babbage of Hjorring , Denmark asks...

In the Euro games Wales v Switzerland a Swiss player had his shirt almost ripped off him by the defender in the area. The ball then broke to another attacker who missed the goal. I doubt the ref had time to shout advantage. So should a penalty be awarded for the initial foul?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi, Peter,
well the opinion of the referee could loom large here, was it a CLEAR advantage in that a PK and likely a card to follow could result in a red card man-down situation depending on the circumstances? We might wait to see if a goal results as the only set of circumstances that best fit the incident otherwise we go with the PK but I have seen strange things occur! I had been prepared to award the PK and send off the defender for DOGSO but the miskick resulted in the ball hitting the post and squirted to an onside teammate totally open on the opposing side of the goal about 4 feet from the post. I delayed the whistle waiting for the tap in goal when he swung the leg and managed to scoop the ball less than a yard from the goal line over top the crossbar lol I went with the goal kick but still sent the defender off. We all had a good laugh. No Pk would be easier than that sitter from less than a yard with no one around!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
As always the goal chance connected with an offence can go either way. Generally referees tend not to give the penalty when an offence may have had little impact on the play or subsequent play.
In this instance the referee would have been perfectly entitled to call the shirt pulling with the award of a penalty kick and a caution for unsporting behaviour. However he along with VAR perhaps decided that there was a clear advantage with the offence having no impact on play or as Referee Grove points out that perhaps both players were tugging each other and as seen in many other situations both oblivious to the contact.
I recall a number of seasons ago in the Premier League game between Sunderland and Cardiff City Referee Phil Dowd pulled play back after allowing advantage with the award of a penalty kick and a red card.. At the time it was hailed as a great decision by Gus Poyet the Sunderland manager
The reason was and it is still prevalent today is that referees rarely call play back on goal scoring opportunities where there is an advantage and the chance is taken.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter, if this is the incident I'm thinking of, while we could see from first camera angle that the Welsh player was indeed holding the Swiss player's shirt, on subsequent replays although it was a little tricky to spot, it seemed relatively clear to me that the Swiss player was also holding the Welsh player's shirt so the referee who may well have had a better view of it than the cameras, may have seen it as six of one and half a dozen of another.

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Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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