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Question Number: 35484

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/1/2024

RE: Amateur Adult

Mühenned Elseyho of Onikisubat, Kahramanmaras Turkey asks...

Hi , how are you

Can you help me about this case? Can you explain all things about it

Thank you very much

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mühenned,
two footed slide tackles can be looked at as a JUMP at or into the opponent and the red card for excessively dangerous is certainly a consideration, especially when they also show studs, make contact or forcefully upend the opponent.

Now to be fair the ball was contacted first and while it was pushed, rebounded through or by the opponent the tackler's feet were not truly side by side, stiff legged locked with studs showing nor did the momentum take him through the oncoming player.

One could opine that the safety of the opponent was jeopardized if you saw cleats pointed during the jump or just careless if you thought the trip was always going to occur!

It appears as if the referee was ok with the challenge, mostly likely because there was no follow through, looks as if he contacted the ball first and then the opponent fell over him. Looks like, at least by that match referee's standards, he was seeing a fair tackle. It has a rough edge but not seeing this as a MUST be called foul unless there was a league rule that slide tackles are not permitted at all. I noted the legs were spread and the knee bent, so not a trashy lunge but it would not hurt to have a word with the defender at the very least! Leaving the feet is risky, other referees could see this as a foul even cardable?

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mühenned,
I'd have to agree with my colleague ref Dawson that although this tackle looks rather untidy it probably falls right on the edge of what might or might not be penalised and so it's very much a question of a referee's judgment call.

I would not be surprised to see some referees call this as a foul but equally (as appears to be the case here) my feeling is that some referees would not call it.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mühenned
Thanks for the question snd tne video.

Law12 tells us that when tackling or challenging for the ball a player must not do so in a careless or reckless manner nor use excessive force.

When a player leaves the ground with two feet in the air there is absolutely no control and what happens will depend on direction, momentum and gravity. That is by definition at a minimum careless when an opponent is in proximity to the ball who can move and the tackler has zero control.
To me this challenge is as best careless and if there is contact it is reckless which is a caution.

Personally I do not like this challenge nor the type of challenge of leaving the ground and while one can argue that the ball was played it is for me careless and a foul with some form of disciplinary action such as at minimum a strong word.

This type of challenge is perhaps in this players range of challenges and it is one that many players will take exception to and expect a referee to take action. Allowing it to go unchecked is not in the interest of the game in that on another day this will not end well with perhaps a serious injury plus I have seen these end up as mass confrontations and all that goes with those.

Here is one that results in a red card.
Here is another that ends as a caution

As I have said previously that looking at one off events does not tell the full story and what has transpired in the game to that point can have a bearing. Closeness to the challenge will give a sense of intensity and with little or no contact a referee may let it pass unchecked. I get that yet by allowing it to go unchecked suggests that it is okay to challenge in this manner which it is not.

I like to show this video
The referee in my opinion should have at minimum cautioned the goalkeeper and awarded a penalty kick for the first lunge. He only spoke to the goalkeeper with no action? The referee tried to calm matters even speaking to the opponent who took exception to the lunge. The referee ended up sending off the goalkeeper and thankfully the attacker was not injured.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Muhenned,

Thanks for your question.

When players are making a 2 footed tackle like this, you can see he's left the ground complete. When a player jumps at an opponent, they're not in control of their body. That also means that their entire body weight and momentum are coming down on the point of impact - with a normal slide tackle, you have the ground acting as a brake, but when a player is in midair, there's no brakes.

It looks like he does just hit the ground first, but being fully airborne that close to an opponent jumping in like that, they're acting without due regard to the consequences of an opponent and would usually be reckless.

The other thing we have to look for - even when the slide is on the ground - is what's happening with the other foot By that I mean, his right foot contacts the ball (can't tell from this angle if that also hits the opponent), but we need to be aware of the other leg - the trailing leg. As you can see, the left leg is going straight at the opponent. That's the difference between a tackle that's foul, and one that's fair where contact is incidental and not a problem.

So for me, this is a pretty bad foul and a definite yellow. Especially when you consider that these are usually fairly social levels and there's just no excuse at all for putting players at risk like that.

If it's a centre where slide tackles are banned, then that makes it even more serious.

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