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Question Number: 34839

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/17/2023

RE: Adult

AEK Fan Club Of NY of ASTORIA, NY USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34836

Thank you all for the reply. Please allow me to visualize the question:

The attacker in white #21 (IMHO) deliberately places his body between the ball and the defensive player. IMHO again, he never made a play for the ball. While he was doing this, the ball bounced on his hand, clearly and then he received the kick from the defender. IMHO again, you can see his eyes (#21) closed during the play, as he is anticipating the kick. The attacking team is shouting "penalty" the defending team is saying "handball" or "diving" and in any case no penalty. What is your take on this?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The incident was questioned by Damien from Athens in Question # 34834. You can view the replies there.

Some commentators have opined that White may have handled the ball in the incident yet while the ball may have made contact with his arm it was not seen as a deliberate handling by the panel as many of the factors for DHB where not present to call it. Others have opined that White may not have intended to play the ball yet expected the kick? That was never ever an offence on its own. More importantly on review by both VAR and the referee deliberate handling was not called.

For what its worth I felt that Blue created the incident with a very poor touch which put the ball up over head height in a crowded dangerous area. Any attacker coming to play the ball ran the risk of getting kicked by Blue which came to pass.
Put it another way there was certainty about the kick on the White player by Blue which was not simulation in any shape or form rather than a highly uncertain handling call on White.

Final points are that a longer video showed the ball hitting a Blue player's arm in the first half on a charge down of a shot which was then headed away by another Blue defender. The referee and VAR decided that was not handling either as the Blue player had his arm close to his body as the ball struck his arm. That consistency in decision making is all that can be asked for in any game.
As I say to players "Its was a foul / no foul at that end and its a foul / no foul at this end". Had the referee awarded a penalty against Blue for deliberate handling the argument by Blue would be that it was never DHB as the ball hit him with his arms at his side!
For the referee he could not escape being criticised, whatever he decided to do. White opine it was a nailed on penalty while Blue argued no doubt it was deliberate handling.
There is a phenomenon, called motivated perception, which has been explored in psychological research for decades. Our perception is often biased and selective choosing to see what we want to see. The desire here to see handling will impact how we want to process the visual information in the video while the kick on White will focus on the penalty call

Those desires can and do affect what we see by impacting the way we process visual information.
From my neutral perspective taking off any Blue or White tinted spectacles the only possible call was a penalty and a caution for Blue.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

As ref McHugh mentions, this incident was already the subject of a previous question (34834). So I would refer you to the answers given in response to that question. I would say the overall consensus there, is that this was a correctly-given penalty and most probably not a handling offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI there super fan,
The ball was directed up into the air by blue who then waited as it went up then came down. THAT, in my opinion, was a defensive error, it should have been headed away or to the keeper as the time it took and the place it was occurring had created huge attacking pressure.

The white attacker, in my opinion, did NOT clearly dive in any way, shape or form.
You might make a case for him jumping in front of the blue player as blue was kicking creating the contact, but the ball off the upper arm which was tight to the body was not a blatant deliberate handling although if he had recovered the ball shot and scored it would not have counted as ANY handling deliberate or accidental no attacker can score from such an incident period!

The Kick was pretty solid into the meat of the attackers thigh from behind. Now whether you believe it was a created incident by the white player stepping in or not, that blue player took his time and in my opinion should have realized a wild leg swing for the fence type kick was risky and sought to better control the ball. It was, in my opinion, perfectly reasonable for a striker to try to barge in and run down a loose bouncing ball forward in mid PA territory.

Now it was reviewed by the VAR and the on field referee assisted by his ARs and the PK awarded so our debate is really whether to agree or disagree . Our panel generally felt the PK was justified under the LOTG . In grassroots with no video review who knows if it gets that detail of scrutiny . There was no referee call for the PK until the VAR said have another look.

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