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Question Number: 29235

Law 14 - Penalty kick 3/9/2015

RE: Rec Adult

Russell Montgomery of Sydney, NSW Australia asks...

No real question here other than why was the ref in the BARCELONA V RAYO VALLECANO game not consistent with decision making during penalty kicks.

He allowed a retake for Messi's miss, due to Vall player encroachment (who made himself obvious to the ref by standing inside the penalty arch even before the kick was taken).
Yet at the retake, the ref allowed a Baca player to be in almost the identical spot when the ball was kicked.

Phew, and I though it was only us low level 'park footy' refs that make these kind of mistakes. LOL.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Yes the decision on a retake surprised me there and it also surprised Messi. He did not expect a second chance and IMO encroachment is rarely called at this level. Also had he called a retake on the 2nd one it could have ended up like that famous take five retakes on YouTube!! No referee wants to go there.
Anyway the referee saw an infringement and went with a retake. I have looked at the 2nd one closely and the moment the ball is kicked the encroachment is not blatant probably one yard or a yard and a half at most.
Stop it at frame 1.52 the moment off contact. Compare that with frame 49 and it will have looked entirely different to the referee given that on the first one there are 6 players close to the kicker.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russ,
Contrary to popular belief we do not possess mind reading attributes. I can speak to the concept that certain referees do allow a great deal of encroachment if it does not affect the PK in a negative way. You would (think/hope/expect?) that whatever level of trifling or doubtful being applied would be equal in its fairness.

Each official has a standard or acceptance as to how much latitude they will endure to the trifling or doubtful status of encroachment! This standard is dramatically enhanced when he/she considers if the keeper comes off too early off the goal line. The reasoning is encroachment usually has less effect on an out come of a miss than a keeper moving too early to cut down the angle.

If an encroaching player is allowed TOO much latitude he might be able to CLEAR if a defender, or SCORE, if an attacker, on a rebound off the PK shot. Hence MISSES get MORE scrutiny than if a goal results from a PK!

Is this fair?? Perhaps, perhaps not? Certainly debateable as the LOTG are supposed to be even but the logic applies no matter which side takes the PK! It kind of does balance out if a referee is consistent with their approach that a goal is generally less affected by what other players do than a miss or a rebound or rebound converted into goal.


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