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Question Number: 35584

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/19/2024

RE: Adult

Douglas Wix of Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom asks...

This question is a follow up to question 35581

Many thanks for the reply. I agree to some of your explanation & accept shoulder charges are part of the game but to me the WOBER incident & the one late in the game last night on a Czech player were blatent pushes & fouls which imo deserved yellow cards. Thanks again & regards

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Douglas
I agree with your assessment.

These incidents are discussed in the referee debrief of the game which goes through key match situations and referees are advised accordingly.
They would also be discussed in the wider referee tournament group with advice on what should be called or not. That would happen pre tournament as well.
There are plenty of examples so far of incidents not getting called or not getting cautioned. Referees are no doubt following advice as there are just too many. One of the reasons why many of the referees are chosen for these tournaments is their ability to follow tournament advice.

In the lead up to the Portugal 2nd goal there was a block on a Czech player on the sideline by Samedo. It was not called and while the player stayed down for a short while VAR did not intervene either. Both the 4th official and the AR on that side would have seen it. After that Portugal went up the field and scored.

So it appears to me that there is a policy call by UEFA on these. Whether that is proper or not there seems to be a desire to allow more physicality on charging between players.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Douglas,
You are not wrong as my colleagues point out every referee debrief of every game is scrutinized and policies reflected, the biggest difference at the pro or world level is the prestige and money as it relates to entertainment value and national pride. The LOTG are not overly complicated but the reduction of the number of players and removal of the entertainers affects the bottom-line and entertainment of the viewers. Then there is the attitudes and physical play of top notch athletes are willing to play through fouls rather than having them called as the reciprocity of what is tolerated should be equal if the referee is really neutral. The IFAB and FIFA in their disciplinary & work committees have selectively chosen to alter LOTG to address perceived injustices, but often for insubstantial reasoning. The mental anguish that the world pro referees face is the constant micro management of their actions not following what those in charge say.

If a PK is being awarded it was seen the red card send off as an addition to the scoring chance was too harsh and thus the reduction to a caution on a challenge inside the PA! Personally I was ok with that because of the rider ONLY if it was reasonable effort. Yet as pointed out we get incidents where the only CLEAR INTENT of the defender was to stop the attacker! Getting to the ball was never under consideration. The same tackle outside the PA ALWAYS a red card if DOGSO criteria were in play.

One of the clearest concepts of post game review effects I witnessed here in Canada of at all things the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship. Canada played Brazil in the semi final it was in effect albeit exciting and going to PKs to decide it was the WORST refereed match of the tournament the referee was far too lax and the game did NOT go well in terms of attitude or play. It was a parade of failing to respect the distance and delaying every single free kick and constant USB actions . It was in fact unbelievable to where the referee was screaming like a banshee at players BUT not cautioning them. The next match up was Mexico versus Germany? the very first first foul, the free kick awarded, the ball was kicked away, immediate caution, yellow card shown, the players scattered like the wind at every free kick after that. They too had watched in disbelief at the earlier Canada match and this referee was having NONE of what transpired earlier. In MY opinion that was a GOOD result of a review.

Some of the of the worst decisions in MY opinion occurred prior to VAR but also reflected the effect a referee has on a match where the decisions are so profound it altered the outcome. The red card Nilsen awarded Beckham in the England Argentina match was the direct result of powers that be wanting to showcase a harder policy by saying NO retaliation was going to be tolerated if the referee had already stopped play, the act, however MINIOR. was a direct red card for VC. Given there was no leeway and Nilsen was looking RIGHT at it Beckham was tossed. Lots of people blame Beckham, I DO NOT! It was a terrible referee decision no matter what was behind the policy!

So too in the Germany/Argentinian WC Final in Brazil, When the Argentinean was HAMMERED in the head by the JUMPING keeper at the edge of the PA using his KNEE, not only should he have been tossed shown the red card, they gave a free kick to Germany? The ball was punched by the keeper's fist into touch. Germany should be down a player, THAT was something unlike Beckham that could not be ignored as SFP. The excuse there was it was not seen by the officiating crew only TV but here was no VAR reviews! Incidents like that are why VAR reviews are in place! Much as the Dutch foot into the chest of the Spanish player went with a no send off as VAR was not in use in the African WC and only the TV viewers saw the incident.

Even in a lead up match to qualify where France and Ireland, I believe Thierry Henri scored a goal with the hand seen clearly by TV viewers but with No VAR. So we can see the REASONING to use VAR and replays to correct OBVIOUS unfair USB actions. The trouble is the matches are now stop/start a lot with the TV reviews and there are so many it affects the viewers enjoyment so they are tinkering with the LOTG once again trying to find that, "Let it go & flow" that football was once so proud of!

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