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Question Number: 34591

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/15/2022

RE: Competive Adult

Brian Friedman of Stone Ridge, VA United States asks...

Comment and a question. The straight red card on Rondon in the Everton vs. Brentford game was wholly deserved. Rondon left his feet and came into the tackle studs up. What's your opinion on Thiago's challenge on Mason Mount in the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Its nearly a mirror image of Rondon's tackle perhaps even a little more dangerous. No red and no VAR review. Is it because he (luckily) didn't connect with player and instead went over the ball? What would your reaction have been?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Brian ,
that tackle CAN NOT be allowed to go by without SOMETHING said or done!
If I was on the FOP and I had that angle of view that player is at minimum cautioned and frankly a direct red card would NOT be unwarranted! No doubt slow motion freeze frame highlighted the true conditions of that tackle that perhaps the referee did not recognize in real time or from the angle of view he had! That defender was one lucky player as was the attacker who could have been severely affected !

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
In my opinion the challenge was reckless and it should have been a caution and a direct free kick restart.
Reckless is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned.

Now had there been any contact it would be a red card for serious foul play. I suspect the referee did not see the manner of the challenge and as the Chelsea player was not contacted and got involved again immediately no action was taken.

As to the involvement of VAR the matter hinges on whether it was seen as a red card offence. As there was no contact it was not likely to be a red card for serious foul play and therefore VAR was not going to get involved by asking the referee to review the incident on the touchline.

As to why no action was taken I can only assume that the referee did not see the manner of the challenge. Both players were facing the same way and as there was no contact with the Chelsea player who was not impacted no decision was made. It was certainly a risky challenge by the player and one that could have had serious consequences. The game wants to eliminate these lunge type challenges where the player is not in control. As seen it was at minimum a caution and a referee could decide that sterner action could have been taken. It certainly would be a discussion point in the post match review of the referee's performance.

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