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Question Number: 35194

Other 11/3/2023

RE: Rec Other

Reza Nazari of livermore, CA US asks...

We have an organized pickup game sunday mornings. I was playing as a forward. Got a pass, took a touch and got passed the defenders. In the act of shooting a defender comes from behind, on my right side, sticks his leg out to get the ball. I ended up kicking the back of his lower leg, close to his ankle. Unfortunately he got a broken fibula as a result.
I think he may have touched before I kicked him
I feel like i'm being blamed for it now by others on the field
what do you think?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Reza,
look my friend, Soccer is a contact sport and accidents do occur. . If you were callous or dismissive, it could be the attitude rather than act of a broken bone where others are miffed at you.

DO you have a historical reputation where you are viewed as reckless already?
Perception, opinion, all play a part in how an individual looks at something where another sees it differently. Obviously the timing of the event and the circumstances of direction, lines of sight etc.. plays a part in how another views the contact?

Was there time to avoid the contact? Did you try to pull away? Were you blind sided?
If it was a coming together of unfortunate timing a referee will likely not see it as a foul. If he views it as the defender played the ball then you kicked him chances are the foul could be determined by the referee as either, careless, reckless, or excessive in nature?

So out of curiosity what did the referee do?
As a player when I hurt someone accidentally I generally apologise.

I do hope the unlucky fellow injury heals, it does suck in grassroots not to be able to go to work after a supposedly fun match. I have seen many a beer league player play as if world cup status was on the line. Dreadful tackles and horrible decisions, creating an unsafe playing environment the clearly demonstrated their skill level did not match the mental intensity.

I recall on my first match into a new town, doling out the cards as if I was trying to beat out the FIFA record of 18 They complained, "You cannot ref like that!" to which I replied . "No! you cannot play like this!" Being able to return to work after Sunday playing a game is far more important!

You know if what you did was an accident. If you rethink & there was little to be done to prevent it, then apologise for hurting the player and move on . Hopefully he forgives you but you know in your heart and soul what occurred was NOT intentional Look at the bloody world, everyone thinks someone else has an agenda! Nowadays far too many people think on what they feel, so reality is often exempt within their bubble view!

You could offer to mow the grass for him if he is laid up if you believe in contrition as long as he is not getting a lawyer to sue/ There should be accident policies or waivers in the league to cover the unfortunate, out of work issues. Or start a go fund me project. The REALITY of life, it goes on, but for some, it goes on different!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Reza
You may have noticed that this question was posed recently on the site. Q35170

So what you describes happens in games and players do get kicked in such situations. Sometimes it just ends up as a sore heel or calf yet unfortunately breaks do happen. Saw one recently where a player went over on his ankle making a challenge and then got trod on the same ankle ending up as a break. Purely accidental.

Like your situation it was purely accidental and there will always be other opinions. Nothing if anything one can do about that. Ultimately our own opinion is what matters and no point in beating oneself up over an accident.

I got my arm broke playing in goal as a young kid in a bounce game. We took turns in goal and I came out and dived at the opponent’s feet bringing the adult to ground. I was trying to emulate a pro goalkeepers. He fell on me with his knee breaking my wrist. He felt bad about it yet it was purely my fault.

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