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Question Number: 35235

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/18/2023

RE: Amateur Adult

Mühenned Elseyho of Onikisubat, Kahramanmaras Turkey asks...

Is it enough for the defender's foot to reach the ball before the opponent? Does this protect him from his next mistakes? Will a direct free kick be awarded to the yellow player in this shot, and why?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Muhenned,

Strictly from the one camera angle it looked as if the green player slipped in a foot and knocked it away as the yellow player reached for it and there was a coming together. In that scenario, if a referee saw it as such, likely play on!

But on further review it is conceivable the referee may have seen or perceived the reach in leg tripped up the yellow player before the ball was touched or perhaps his inside arm contacted the face? The lower center of gravity placed his hips under the yellow, almost to the thigh and kind of pushed through him as he scrambled to stay up.

What I did not see was a CLEAR, go through the player type tackle where getting to the ball was secondary and likely to adjudged as unsafe. So in my opinion no obvious intentional misconduct in evidence

In my opinion, if indeed he caught the ball first, it was a reasonable challenge to win the ball.

If there was some incidental physical into the back, face or leg to leg contact before playing the ball, that could be seen as a careless foul and a DFK offence

If there was a foul called, only the referee of that match can state why, based on his view and his understanding of the LOTG.

Not my match, not my decision.
Real time is much harder than couch review time, a referee with integrity calls what he sees.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mühenned
Referees in real time get one go at a decision from the referees unique angle of view.
The decision is not made based on the camera angle which is what we see see here. As I have said in the past looking at one clip in isolation never gives the totality of the decision which can be influenced by other factors that the referee may consider such as the mood of the game, previous challenges by the players, warnings, player honesty etc.
On balance the foot challenge looks fair enough and the question I ask is whether the referee thought that the tacklers raised right arm made contact on the opponents head as he played the ball?
If there was contact on the head with the outstretched arm it is a foul and I would say careless.
Remember the referee is looking face on at this and does he see a raised right arm which may have made contact with the opponent or was it the manner of the challenge that influenced him.

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