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Question Number: 35058

Mechanics 8/8/2023

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

This question is a follow up to question 35055

I'm a bit confused :-)

In the case of question no. 1, is it a )

Maybe i described question no. 2 wrong. The referee mistakes the place of the offense and allows a free kick to be played instead of a penalty kick. According to VAR, the incident was inside the penalty area, but not enough for a penalty kick. Will VAR call the referee to review it? Or does not intervene? In my opinion, the fact that the incident was inside the penalty area speaks for the intervention. However, the fact that the result is a free kick and the incident inside was minor speaks against the intervention. :-)


Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr ,
Admittedly I was a bit confused in answering number one. I even commented to my colleagues privately exactly what was being asked?? So I will ask you for greater detail of the situation much like you did on the DFK PK location as number 2.

1) Decision is changed after restart for violent conduct or mistaken identity. Where is the new restart location? (if the referee stopped the game because of it)
What decision is being changed and when?
If there is a decision to award a foul for VC or SFP and a restart occurs it is TOO late to do anything. If #4 is sent off for VC and it was not #4 but #14, entire Referee crew going get a butt whopping at post game review. That simply can not occur VAR MUST signal hey WAIT lets take a closer look and we do not move forward until all is well. The misconduct aspects being available to be dealt with . If an AR raised a flag SOLEY for getting the referee attention hey wait it is a wrong guy being sent off for the VC given play is stopped to fix something . It would be a DB to the team in possession or to either keeper if inside a PA Or a INDFK from the ball location. If play was stopped to do anything as part of the normal play and NOW info comes in hey we blew it a decision or two ago. you restart with why play was stopped then and now not for dealing with a past error. Again communication, you do not go forward until the CR has been made aware of ALL neutral information.

As to the VAR will intervene if the location of the foul awarded was INSIDE the PK but awarded outside. VAR will not not worry that the contact was iffy because that was the REFEREE'S Decision, there was contact, it was a foul. You do not call a weak foul just outside a PA and then let that same one slide if it was inside. If it WAS doubtful, then do not stop play! VAR response to a stoppage that is due to a DFK offence and that DFK offence occurred inside the penalty area it should be upgraded to a PK. that should be relayed to the referee. If the free kick occurs and then the VAR is communicating it is far too late to do anything. I get the significance of a match control call in the middle third to wrest some control as trifling or dubious but inside or outside the PA that foul best be what it is subject to the LOTG as a DFK or upgrade to PK as to its location.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
It is important not to confuse VAR mechanics and the Laws of the Game.

With VAR there is other technology in use including head sets. A VAR official will not allow a referee to restart incorrectly so the location of a restart is key. We have all seen VAR delays while the location of the offence is checked with freeze frame to help the referee decide if it is a free kick or a penalty kick. So it would be a mechanics mistake for the referee to allow play to proceed with an incorrect restart.

As to the merits of any foul that is a judgement call for the referee to make and unless the referee has made a clear error the VAR official will not intervene.
Case in point was the red card incident in the England v Nigeria game. In real time the referee cautioned the England player yet VAR saw that it was a likely violent conduct incident so play was held up for the review and then the referee was asked to look at it on the pitch side monitor. The caution was changed from a caution to a dismissal yet the restart did not change.

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