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Question Number: 27550

Law 10 - Method of Scoring 6/24/2013

RE: rec Adult

saul of Chicago, il USA asks...

Your comments on the penalty call by whistle and advantage that ended in a goal by Italy against Brazil in the Confederations Cup. IMO big violation of the LOTG. Does a whistle still mean STOP PLAY or is it left to referees discretion. I'm referring to a clear foul against an Italian in the Brazilians penalty area, the ref blows the whistle, the Italians still in posession of the ball pass it back to team mate and score. Despite the complaints of the Brazilians, the ref indicated 'Advantage to Italy even though he had clearly blown the whistle before the final kick.IMO the ref could have either waited a few seconds before blowing the whistle or stick with the PK once the whistle is blown regardless of the outcome.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Saul
The referee Ravshan Irmatov made a significant error in Law here by his decision to allow the goal. I understand he has stated to FIFA that he made an error and is expected to be sent home from the tournament when the final referee crews are selected. He had been tipped as a possible final referee
It had been shown that the referee pointed to the penalty spot and also clearly blew the whistle before the ball entered the goal. I'm not sure what his mindset was at the time as to whether he thought the ball crossed the line before the whistle or more likely whether he simply got caught up in the moment about the award of the penalty and any doubts he may have had would have been eliminated by the 'goal'? It did not help either that both teams were initially in his face with Italian players claiming goal and the other I assume that the whistle had sounded.
There was every chance that Italy would have scored the peno anyway so I did not see the need to allow the goal. Much easier to explain to the match observer about the quick whistle to sell the penalty rather than allowing a goal after the whistle sounded.
Okay the spirit of the game might suggest that the whistle did not affect play and the goal should be allowed but that is contrary to the Laws. Given as well that there was such vehement protest by Brazil the spirit of the decision meant for nothing. The ref was probably sorry that he made that call and perhaps also a stronger AR might have helped him out with a raised flag, a public conversation that the ball had not crossed the line before the whistle and a penalty award.
I had one of these recently as an AR in a final and thankfully the referee awarded the penalty. He too had the scoring team in his face hollering that the goal should be allowed and the defending team claiming no penalty. Had he not awarded the penalty I would have intervened to tell him that the ball had not crossed the line before the whistle.
What it does show is the need to just take a second or two, 'wait and See' and then make the call.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The referee has admitted his error. A goal cannot be scored once the referee stops play by blowing the whistle.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Sad day but once the whistle blows play has ALREADY stopped. A Grade 9 referee in his first game knows you cannot allow a goal if it scores after the whistle has blown. A professional referee simply cannot make a huge mistake like this.

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