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Question Number: 28667

Character, Attitude and Control 8/18/2014

RE: travel Under 19

jennifer ness of midlothian, Virginia United States asks...

Is it approiate for a player to approach the Head Ref if he has been punched in the head while on the ground after a confrontation for the ball? This incident was witnessed by the other defenders and fans on the sideline so lots of emotion at the moment.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jennifer
Players will always approach the referee with an opinion or information as to what happened in a particular situation. Some times the referee may not have seen the incident so there is little action that can be taken. I remind players that I have one unique view of the game and if I missed something I apologise.
I recall a few seasons ago a player, I believe, punched an opponent while behind my back. I had a good idea of what happened but unfortunately I could not take action as I did not see it. I certainly had advice from players on both sides telling me what happened and others telling me I did not see what happened. Had I sent the player off my report would have been an untruth which I was not prepared to write. I did tell the player and his captain that I would be adopting zero tolerance towards him from that moment onwards. The team substituted him immediately. The opponents did complain to me afterwards and I apologised that I could not take action due to not seeing what happened.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jennifer,
There is nothing inherently bad about relaying some vital information to the referee if it helps relive you of some angst or you feel unprotected or unfairly treated. As long as you understand that as a neutral figure we can not take sides and accept your word as gospel. It is good to have neural ARs to help with such things as more eyes on the match more can be seen! We certainly can consider what a player tells us. Even dissent tells us something when we reflect to the state of a match and whether we are managing it well! I look at the faces, body tells, tone inflection and yes physical marks! I will cut some slack for an upset player in pain or anguish if I missed something or found it different then he but the three Ps of dissent, persistent, personal and public have a tolerance limit! Not willing to be heavily railed as a blankety blank blankety sack of blankety blanket without thinking about cautioning or sending off for abuse. I usually say I am not perfect but I strive to fair and will not call what I do no know to true! It is ok to apologise and state for the record I cannot know exactly what occurred but I do not enjoy hearing I was made a fool of. Our attentions can be diverted but one should always try to seek justice and look for those who flaunt it!

I had a player come to me at the halftime, just glare at me turn around pull his sock down and I could see the cleat marks along his ankle and calf. Every time in the opposition area on a corner the defender was stepping into the back of his ankle in a deceptive way that I had not picked up on! br> Lets just say things were looked at differently in the second half


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