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Question Number: 34715

Mechanics 9/29/2022

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I have a question regarding the VAR protocol.

For example, when team A is attacking, player A controlled the ball using his/her hands but the referee missed it. Then, player B stopped player A with a foul inside the penalty area of team B but the referee missed this one also. After that, team A maintained possession for a while but then they lost the ball, team B attacked and scored a goal. In that case, what do VAR and the central referee have to do?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
In VAR there are four four categories of match-changing decisions/incidents that can be reviewed

# Goals
# Penalty/ no penalty decisions
# Direct red cards (not 2nd yellow cards)
# Mistaken identity

In your example the offence inside the penalty area will be brought to the attention of the referee and that should be done in a neutral zone for example when the ball is cleared over half way or at the next stoppage which seems to be the preferred method. When that happens the referee will review the video of the incident and decide accordingly.

So in your example the goal is disallowed for Team B and a penalty kick is awarded to Team A.

Now that is never a good situation to be in and in recent times I have seen countless referees waiting for play to stop before intervening.
In the England v Germany game there was a penalty call @ 79.22. Play was allowed to continue and play was stopped with a shot on goal by England a full minute later which resulted in a corner. The decision was made @ 81.54 to award the penalty. In the recent Ireland game v Armenia there was a deliberate handling by an Armenian player and the ball was cleared. After a period of play the game was stopped I think for an offence in the Ireland half on an Armenian player and after review a penalty was awarded, My initial thought was the wait for these review have taken far too long and a lot can happen in a game in over a minute and when play gets over half way.
Anyway both incidents were reviewed by VAR and penalty kicks awarded along with cautions. Two Armenian players were dismissed for their protests to the referee in the award of the penalty in the Ireland game.
Personally I think the referees would have been better giving them and then rule the penalty out if need be. Both referees had clear uninterrupted views of the incidents and I think without VAR they may have been given. These lengthy waits are unhelpful and in many ways it is also wasted playing time as the offending team cannot benefit during that time

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs,
hmm looks like the ref is having a bad day missing fouls and creating situations where dissent is only to increase.
It is best to get correct decisions even if a bit tardy, there will always be an undercurrent buzz of gripes and complaints. The VAR technology should transmit the info of a need to review fairly quickly if a clear legit PK incident is missed. I do not think waiting until another stoppage is particularly effective strategy, so much can go wrong by allowing play to rumble on be it another foul, goal etc. Given the PA foul is likely the only one the VAR would likely comment on. It might seem unfair given if the handling by the attackers had not been missed, then the follow up missed foul after would not have happened to be seen by the VAR! If VAR saw both fouls clearly and recognized the 1st caused the 2nd lol I think you are thinking that they might just not let the referee know anything? If both fouls would be mentioned not sure a free kick out instead of a goal would sit well after such a long delay Unfortunately, as neutral officials they can only follow the script as the LOTG have dictated they can comment on!


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