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Question Number: 34777

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/28/2022

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34774

I expected a little more from the World Cup. 0-0, 1-0, 0-0, 1-1, 0-1 - mostly a bit boring. But the Canadian players play very nicely and sympathetically. So I'm sorry for the results :-)

One more question, please.

The player goes with the ball through penalty arc. The movement is not dynamic and fast. The possibility of passing the ball to a teammate for a chance is also uncertain. A free space opens in front of him for a shot at the goal. Then he is fouled.

I think I saw it in the 61st minute (60:45) of the match Japan vs. Costa Rica. Referee Oliver drew a yellow for No.5 Borges. :-)

Well, maybe it wasn't as lax as I'm describing. :-) But it brings me to this question:

'Can it be SPA purely for the ability to shoot?'

Thanks! Good luck to Canada in the next game!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
Yes the Canucknuckle heads gave a good effort but they failed to adjust against the Croatians from about the 35th minute as the coach adjusted the midfield to take advantage of the space Canada was allowing. I think we were out coached more than just outplayed but it will take a supreme effort to get a win as the Moroccans are highly motivated perhaps if Croatia is beating Belgium they might ease off as even a win by Canada would not affect Morrocco from going through to the round of 16.

There has been a few decent exciting games but some lackluster as well.
I am afraid Dutch might humiliate Quatar, but Senegal and Ecuador have a lot to play for

I think the USA Iran game will be very dramatic. It has the making of the best match of the tournament if both teams want it as bad as the other! I pick England over Walses but even a tie gets them through

I think Group C with be really tough Poland Argentina to be a barn burner of tension and Saudis versus Mexico should be brutal football Lots to play for here!

I think France looks good to repeat. they might coast against Tunisa but hard to imagine they lose, maybe tie? I am behind the Socceroo boys down under but Demark has something to prove.

Very disappointed with Japan losing to Costi Rica after beating the Germans but I still pick Spain over them so it will give the Germans a shot if they can get by Costa Rica.

Belgium so far a real poor performance. They will have to elevate their game to beat Croatia. Morrocco is seething with confidence and Canada perhaps with less performance anxiety might be able to take a more disciplined rather than frantic approach now that they are out of the running. I can only hope

Brazil is another team playing well and already through but I do not expect them to lose to Cameroon Swiss looked well organized and I think should get by Serbia but that should be a tough match .

Portugal clinched and play Korea who I thought should have beaten Ghana . I think Portugal will ease off and but still likely a tie. I hope Ghana gets through and pounds Uruguay they played hard each match if not for the Ronaldo PK dive they could be in the lead

That foul by No.5 Borges not a careless effort was cautioned l suspect for a USB reckless challenge that endangered the attacker in a forceful but not excessive manner

The SPA (stopping a promising attack) aka the professional foul, has more to do with attacking opportunity than shooting opportunity. If a reasonable foul to win the ball occurs inside the PA, which case given a PK is a shot at the goal, it is why DOGSO red card is eased back in the opportunity to shoot is not truly lost If the foul was not a reasonable effort to win the ball in a challenge inside the PA then the red card for say a shirt pull hold would be most likely. In it did not reasonably try to win the ball the attack was purposeful to stop the opportunity to score, That is why there is criteria to consider when weighing a decision was it DOGSO or was it SPA? A shirt pull outside the PA is likely a caution for SPA inside the PA it would more likely be a DOGSO red card send off reducing them a player if there was any possible opportunity to score was thwarted. because such an action has no legitimacy as a challenge where a charge trip kick or tackle might be seen as a reasonable action undertaken as part of normal play to get the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Good to hear from you.
For me I did not expect much from the World Cup yet more of the same that has been on offer.
In the modern game teams have decided that rather than all out attack it is better to defend in numbers and then wait for a slow build up to create chances which then for mediocre teams become few and far between.
That Costa Rica v Japan game is a perfect case in point where Costa Rica had ONE shot on target in the whole game and one goal which won the game.
Teams set up with a 5 -4 - 1 formation as Costa Rica did in that game and if the opponents decide to keep three at the back all the time they end up with nine v seven in a tight area usually in front of the penalty area. That allows doubling up of defenders in wide positions plus the free midfielders can also move across as required to also double up on opponents Throw in a lack of ability to dribble and a game littered with passes from one side to the other and to unmarked defenders it is no wonder that games end up with few goal. Offside adds to that as forwards have to play in front of the back five again limiting space even more.

So coaches in mediocre sides set up in a way, to use the phrase **park the team bus ** in front of penalty area. Even good sides do it yet they have more to offer up front when space is at a premium. It is only when a goal is scored that the game opens up as the team that is behind has to push on. Even at that some teams do not change immediately and if they can keep it to one goal only then one chance can get them back into the game.

For me it is spoiling the game and out of maybe 10 games there might be one enjoyable one. Finding that one game is the challenge.

As to the incident in the Costa Rica v Japan game it was not an OBVIOUS goal scoring opportunity. There is a big difference between a goal scoring opportunity that is OBVIOUS as set out in the Laws and one that is not. That chance failed on the number of defenders present in front of the Japanese player
In that Borges foul the Japanese player was also tackled by another CR defender #13 while Borges came from behind in what was a reckless challenge. CR #13 actually gets a foot on the ball yet the reckless challenge from behind was the reason for the caution. So it could not be a DOGSO yet if the challenge was not reckless it could have been an SPA.

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