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Question Number: 34896

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/28/2023

RE: Rec/Select Under 16

Brian Fleming of Bellevue, WA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34895

Wow, yellow card on me!

Here's the link:

This video circulated on Facebook, and as you can see in the comments a spirited debate ensues... Curious to get your take...

On one hand, keeper making a reasonable play here IMO, no contact, attackers touch puts ball outside his own reach and attacker simulating.

On the other hand, attacker being physically intimidated arguably denies goal scoring opportunity.

I'm torn, if the attacker makes any touch that preserves the scoring opportunity I'd be more likely to award PK, but my instinct is no call. So I bet that means I'm wrong :)

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Brian,
In my opinion, likely affected by rewatching, reviewing and rewinding a yellow card to attacker for simulation INDFK out! Would I think the same as CR in real time ? Poor control, touch sent the ball well wide but it seemed as if there was no contact on the ball by the keeper . Attacker jumped over prostrate keeper who was __almost__ motionless lying on the ground . The keeper was not NOT sliding into and through as in a train crash like many others in a reckless or excessive way that could easily be a DFK thus PK infraction. There was no arm grab or leg trip, albeit it looked as if he hunched his back to force the attacker to jump over. In my opinion the keeper performed a reasonable effort to make a save with only a weak foul that I could reasonably discern. The attacker realizing his touch was awful appeared to drag a foot across the body in the attempt to win the PK pretending to be tripped! One could think justice prevailed as the PK was stopped yet I can see it as a PK but in my gut it reeks of a very soft one! The probable key part of the decision was it does appear the keeper did NOT make any contact with the ball. A match referee with integrity calls what he sees from where he is no matter if we see it different!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
Thanks for the question and the link

Goalkeepers that come out diving at the feet of opponents run the high risk of an offence when they fail to play the ball. It was for situations like this that the red card for denying an obvious goal scoring gets downgraded to a caution.

In the clip the goalkeeper appears to be saying he touched the ball which then makes it a legitimate play and no offence. The referee can be seen looking across to his assistant for confirmation of the penalty which obviously was forthcoming. One would assume that if there was simulation that the AR would have alerted the referee to same.

Now should it have been called. From the video it is clear that the attacker plays the ball and there is no apparent contact on the ball by the goalkeeper. There is no onus on the level of touch that an attacker has to make and whether there is any possibility of recovering the ball except in determining a DOGSO situation. He simply has to play the ball. Consideration on the offence is made at the moment of the challenge not what can happen later.
Many years ago the need for no contact in a challenge even though technically it was never there anyway, was made clearer in that it is an offence to challenge for the ball in careless or reckless manner which requires no contact should be called as an offence. Previously many interpreted the phrase "making contact with the opponent before touching the ball" as legitimising the need for contact. That was not the case then and it is clear now with the way the law is written.

So for me the correct decision would be a penalty kick and no card as it was not a DOGSO and it looks like a typical challenge by the goalkeeper. I personally do not see any out of the ordinary action by the goalkeeper that is reckless although the goalkeeper could be interpreted as having limited regard of the danger and the consequences. Pro players know only too well the risks hence why I would not card for it at that level.

Let me put it another way. Let's say that a defender goes to slide tackle an opponent at half way and slides in like the goalkeeper making no contact on the ball which is pushed past the player and the opponent tries to hurdle the player with perhaps minimal contact yet fails and falls to ground, What would be the decision?. It would be an offence punished by a direct free kick even without contact. This is no different other than the goalkeeper can legitimately use hands in the challenge which he fails to do.

Final point I would make is that I have seen too many train crash challenges by goalkeepers who come out in a manner that shows no concern from themselves or opponents. I have seen too many serious injuries from these types of challenges aka Manuel Neuer of Germany against Argentina's Higuain. In fact most goalkeepers are coached to come out in a manner that gets the ball at all costs and in a way that they can protect themselves with raised knees, hips etc
In this instance the attacker knows there is going to be contact and he leaps up to avoid the goalkeeper. Whether there was slight contact or not I cannot see from the video. However had he not jumped up there would certainly have been undoubted contact and a foul. If he took the contact there would be no debate about the penalty and a card.
I would make the point that the score here was 1-0 at the time so the referee was making a big game decision. He did not have VAR to help him just an AR looking in from the side . The penalty was saved yet the opponent equalised some minutes later in added time for it to end 1-1,

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Brian,

Unfortunately, I think the referee was conned here, and the correct decision should be a yellow card to the attacker, IFK out.

Let's break it down.

First, the keeper makes a poor dive for the ball. Now, had the keeper made contact on the attacker, that's an easy foul. But would it be DOGSO?

In my opinion, the attacker's touch is way too heavy and I think there's significant doubt over whether he'd get there before it went out - that's even if we are trying to compensate for the delaying impact of the foul (that is, we need to think about likelihood to regain control the moment he releases it, not after he's had to slow down and leap over the keeper).

Even if DOGSO, it's an attempt to play the ball for me, so it would be YC, not RC. But, I don't think it's DOGSO. It would be Stopping a Promising Attack for me (there's still enough of a question on whether he'd reach the ball before it goes out, but it's too doubtful to be 'obvious'. SPA with a PK is still downgraded to no card, so even if we accept a keeper foul here, there should be no card.

Now, yes, it can still be a foul with no contact. The time it takes a player to jump over an outstretched leg can mean enough of a delay for them to lose possession, so we should be considering a foul there. I think it needs to be really clear that there has been an impact for a foul in that case (or the tackle is reckless) - had he kept his feet, I don't think anybody would be considering a foul here.

But, he didn't. He fell down. That already is pointing to a dive - there's just no reason to fall down here. But then he clutches his knee, which wasn't even touched.

That makes it a clear dive. Now, while it is technically possible to award a PK and a card for simulation, it would need to be very clear for both to even consider such an unusual approach.

Here, we have a very questionable (At best) penalty appeal for the keeper's dive that misses the ball but gets in the way of an opponent, and a clear dive. Keep it simple - don't penalise the keeper, just deal with the dive.

As a ref, it's often worth a quick glance to the AR here, who will give a little nod or a shake of the head. As an AR, if you're 100% certain it was a dive and you think you've had a better view than the referee, then I think in this case, it's worth calling the ref over to state the facts the goalkeeper completely missed him (and the ref will then ask for your recommendation). Usually as an AR if you disagree with the ref's decision you just have to go with it, but here the AR probably has a better view than the ref, on something done purely to trick the referee. I would want to see the AR calling the ref over - assuming they are sure.

And if I was reffing on this match, I'd have a quick word with the goalkeeper to let them know they got out of jail free here, but they need to watch their timing.

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