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Question Number: 27498

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 6/1/2013

RE: Level 4 Adult

Des of Mardi, NSW Australia asks...

An attacking player was fouled about 25 metres from goal and in doing so continued to strike the ball towards goal. At this time I blew the whistle for a foul. The ball sailed over everyone heads and the Goal keeper made a in my mind a genuine attempt to save the ball, in which he failed to do so. The ball coming to rest in the back of the net. I have made the decision to award the goal as I saw no hindrance to the Goal Keeper even if i did blow the whistle. Of course the defending team complained about my decision saying their Goal Keeper stopped when he heard the whistle, which he didn't. If I'd have waited second or two playing the advantage no controversy would of ensued. However against the defenders complaining the Goal stood and I stood my decision. HAve I done the right thing in this case or not?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Des
Unfortunately you did not make the 'right' decision here. Once you sounded the whistle play had to stop and as a result no goal could be awarded. You now know with hindsight the importance of a 'delayed' whistle which would have given you 'thinking' time and time to either call the foul or not. Clearly with a goal scored and no whistle you would not bring play back for the foul but rather play advantage.
Now you are not the first referee that this happened to nor the last and it has happened at the highest level. Terje Hague referee in the Champions League Final of 2006 sent off the Arsenal goalkeeper Lehmann and awarded a DFK just outside the penalty area even though the ball fell kindly to Barcelona who scored within an instant after the whistle sounded. Hague later admitted that he was too hasty in making the foul decision which resulted in the goal being disallowed and Lehmann being sent off , and on hindsight should have taken more time to make a decision. It was clear that the whistle had no impact on play. You can view it here at frame 46
Interestingly it took Barcelona until the 80th minute to score a goal to equalise and eventually went on to win. Had Arsenal held out the referee may have been criticised heavily for his hasty decision and not playing advantage.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Des,

Unfortunately you blew the whistle. That means the ball is out of play - the goal cannot stand.

All you can do on the field is acknowledge you made a mistake, go to the free kick (and the possible card) and move on.

Have a think about whether you were too hasty with the whistle, or if you should have waited a few moments to see what the outcome from the foul was. Usually these incidents are the result of a hasty whistle, though sometimes you find the attacker manages to score a miracle goal out of nowhere just as you're blowing.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

No. Unfortunately you have blatantly misapplied the Laws Of The Game leaving open a protest that probably would and should be upheld.
The moment you blew the whistle play stopped. End of story.

We have all been embarrassed by blowing the whistle a bit early only to see the ball end up in the net. Usually this happens with fouls inside the penalty area. In your case play was outside the penalty area so while your blowing the whistle upon seeing the foul was perfectly reasonable, you have to live with the consequences of your action.

You simply cannot award a goal scored AFTER the whistle has blown,

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