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Question Number: 35451

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/15/2024

RE: Amateur Adult

Mühenned Elseyho of Onikisubat, Kahramanmaras Turkey asks...

Does touching the ball in this video deserve a (red or yellow) card and a penalty kick , and why?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mühenned.
your video shows a CLEAR deliberate handling by the defender in the PA. This is a DFK offence and given the location of the offence is upgraded to an automatic PK. Plus the action is blatantly USB in breaking up the attack so at absolute bare minimum he would be cautioned & shown a yellow card.

When a defender challenges an opponent inside their PA and commits a DFK foul it is now stated we can considered the PK results in restoring the lost chance to score. The tackle could be a legitimate attempt to challenge the ball carrier and the PK opportunity is said to make up the missed opportunity created by the challenge. Yet THIS challenge has NOTHING fair about it the ONLY objective possible was to deny the awaiting player an opportunity to attempt to score!

The handling did, in of its self, not prevent the goal from being scored as the ball was not on target, BUT, the unfair action prevented the attacker from having the opportunity to head or play the incoming pass with a chance to direct the ball back towards the goal. This gives us reason to see this handling as meeting DOGSO criteria. Taking into account the conditions surrounding the event it is my opinion to show the red card, send off the defender thereby reducing his team a player and restarting with the PK.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Muhenned,

It's clear that it's a foul - it's as deliberate handling as you get. The question is, as you say, the card.

Denying an Obvious Goalscoring Opportunity (DOGSO) is a red card offence. Does this qualify? Referees need to consider the general direction of play (ball is crossed and the attacker is going to head it to goal, so this is fine), number of defenders between the ball and goal (only a goalkeeper - we always remove the fouling player from this equation), likelihood of control (it's an easy header that the attacker is well prepared for), and distance to goal (close).

If there isn't the handball here, the attacker has a free header and an excellent chance of scoring. This is definitely DOGSO.

I know some people argue that you can't have DOGSO if no attacker is in possession, but this is incorrect. The LOTG talk about control or LIKELIHOOD of control. A foul that prevents possession can certainly be a red card.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mühenned
Thanks for the video and the question.

The easy part is that it is deliberate handling. The defender has clearly raised his hand above his head to make contact with the ball so it a handling offence. There is no natural playing reason to raise the arm into that position other than to play the ball which is what happens. Any direct free kick offence happening inside the penalty area is punished by a penalty kick.

Now the next part is that the referee has to consider the misconduct part of the offence.
A referee to opine if denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity exists or not has to consider what is referred to as the 4Ds in the calculation. They are

# Distance between the offence and the goal
# Direction of the play
# Distance to the ball likelihood of keeping or gaining control 
# Defenders to consider number and location.

All four must be present for a sending off.

In this video we can opine that
A. The distance to goal is only a few metres so that is present
B. The direction of play is towards goal so that is present
C. The attacker is about to play the ball with a header so that is present
D. There is only the single defender present along with the goalkeeper so that is present also

So in my opinion the four conditions are met and it is denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity which is a dismissal offence and a red card

I believe most in the game would see this offence as a deliberate attempt to stop a header on goal. We do not have to consider whether the attempt would be successful or not as the ball could have been headed wide or saved by the goalkeeper. It is certainly an obvious attempt to deny the attacker an opportunity to score which is sanctioned with a red card.

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