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Question Number: 29036

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/7/2014

RE: Pro Professional

Dennis DiMarino Jr. of Philadelphia, PA US asks...

Hi, I am watching the West Ham/Swansea game right now and had a question about the red card play that occurred. I thought the referee made the right decision but questioned why it resulted in a free kick. The advantage I thought was correct, but why didn't play continue on until the next stoppage and then send off the GK? I don't understand why advantage was used and they also received the free kick.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Dennis,
If the whistle was withheld awaiting an outcome the reasoning would be the referee was allowing play while looking to see if a goal was scored to take away the DOGSO criteria. We refer to this as a delayed whistle. Admittedly I prefer a referee adapt this principle in these possible scoring chances.

I was informed that apparently the whistle sounded before the shot occurred? Thus a red card for DOGSO given the criteria was met and a free kick is the only option

In either case, a delayed whistle with a miss or a too quick whistle, a free kick is awarded.

If the whistle has not sounded and a goal had resulted then no red card would be displayed unless the tackle was SFP. So the DOGSO red card criteria no longer apply and we restart with just a kick off. Or the foul could be down graded to USB caution yellow card followed by a kick off '

As we now know from watching the video the whistle sounded prior to the shot so play is dead and the free kick must be awarded. If the whistle had not sounded, the advantage must be fully realized as being greater than the free kick , not just a shot directed at goal from a steep angle ! It is likely the referee felt this would be a goal otherwise and the foul caused the angle of the shot to change or the player was off balanced, or new defenders running in pressuring a hasty shot, that is why the shot hit the post.

You are correct that IF a referee signaled advantage Play on then was CONVINCED the advantage was in fact 100% there and only an inept action by the striker caused his missed opportunity then you could wait for the next stoppage but there is no DOGSO only a possible caution unless the actual foul was SFP!
Carroll was in good form though was he not? lol

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dennis
Referee Foy did not play advantage here and he called the foul early. As he called the foul then he would have to disallow a goal should it have been scored. As the foul was called the referee had to determine whether all the four conditions of denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity were present. Clearly he decided that they were and that resulted in the dismissal of Fabianski of Swansea.
Had Sakho of West Ham scored then the referee would have to accept that the better decision would have been to play advantage which would have resulted in a goal being awarded and only cautioning the goalkeeper for unsporting behaviour.
It was an interesting decision and there are merits for going either way. One can say that had the foul not happened the player would have had an easier angle in which to have a shot at goal. The fact that Sakhos shot hit the post showed that there was a possibility of a goal being scored so advantage was a possibility. In one way Referee Foy was probably relieved that a goal was not scored as it probably confirmed that the foul denied the better angle for the goal scoring opportunity.
I reminded of the decision by Referee Hauge in the 2006 Champions League Final between Arsenal and Barcelona in which he dismissed Lehmann the Arsenal keeper for a DOGSO offence. Had he waited a second or two he could have played advantage and awarded a goal.
Referee Terje Hauge later admitted that he acted too hastily in calling the foul by Lehmann on Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o just outside the area. The loose ball fell to Ludovic Giuly, of Barcelona who slotted it into an empty net. the referee had no choice but to bring the ball back to the point of the foul for a free kick restart and dismiss the goalkeeper for a DOGSO
So did Referee Foy think red card dismissal and stop the match without considering the advantage possibility?

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


This one had me screaming at the commentators. Referee Foy blew his whistle right as the initial contact was made. If you listen closely, you will hear it. There is also a replay that shows Referee Foy blowing the whistle early. Even if the ball had gone in, it would not have counted.

Let's say that Referee Foy did play advantage. If that was the case, at the next stoppage he should have displayed the Yellow Card and the restart would have been whatever the ball went out of play for. Why yellow? The goal scoring opportunity was not denied if you allowed the advantage to play through (in a sense indicating that the goal scoring opportunity still existed and was not denied)

I also agree with you and thought that the DOGSO decision here was exceptional. The goalkeeper was well out of the area and if he had not made contact with the player it was almost certainly a goal.

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