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Question Number: 30275

Mechanics 4/11/2016

RE: Competitive Adult

Kevine Ramasamy of Quatre Bornes, Mauritius asks...

A referee and his assistant signaled a goal.When the opposing team rushed onto the assistant referee claiming a hand ball, the referee intervened and changed his decision.Is this allowed?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kevine
Changing any decision is allowed provided play has not restarted or that the game has ended. In this case as the kick off has not happened the referee is entitled to disallow the goal and restart for the reason for doing so.
Now as described this comes down to mechanics. If the referee did not see the deliberate handling and awarded the goal to be subsequently told by his assistant that there was a handling offence by the scoring team then the referee can and should take that advice. The referee could also interpret that the handling was not deliberate in his opinion.
You do not mention if there was indeed deliberate handling nor how did the AR signalled a goal? If there was handling then clearly that is an offence punished by a direct free kick.
In a recent game I was involved in a team scored from a corner. The conceding team protested that the scorer had used his hand to score. I did not see any offence by the scorer. I looked across at my AR and he did not see any handling either. So I awarded the goal. Now had he signalled an offence I would have disallowed the goal and restarted with a DFK. Even if I made an error of an early signal of a goal I can always change my mind based on new advice. That is not good mechanics yet that is all that it is.
In my game at the weekend I awarded a corner kick at one particular play. I made a mistake and I was immediately berated by the defending team. The moment I made that call I realised that it should have been a goal kick as the deflection was off an attacker. I changed my mind to the goal kick. My focus had been diverted to a possible offside which distracted my focus. Some felt that the shouting changed my mind whereas it did not. Referees rarely if ever change their decision based on shouting. The Laws allow for the change of decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Kevin,
allowed yes! Is it a good thing? Well yes, if, it is the right decision! The hard part is the sell! What rational was there for the reversal?

A referee can change a decision, he can react to new information by neutral outside sources such as ARs and 4th . A referee though has a limited window to do so though, because once he decides to go ahead with a restart he loses the right to change his mind even if the decision to proceed was completely wrong.

What occurs if he suffers a momentary brain cramp he realizes it as an oops corrects the decision in a simple matter such as goal kick, no sorry, corner kick or red throw oops blue throw points in wrong direction the resentment will be much less than to start allowing or disallowing goals. As my colleague sagely points out good mechanics it is not but getting the right decision is the most important aspect as opposed to looking slightly foolish

Your description that the CR signaled a goal and the AR signaled? What was the AR signal? If the AR is in agreement it is a good goal the eye contact, head nod and takes a kick off position by moving up the touchline. If he stays still or raises a flag gets eye contact and shakes his head he wants to discuss? CR usually gets a thumbs up from AR first before signalling a good goal .

The fact the opposition is screaming for a handling should not change their minds. They are required to have seen it to have any decision to render. The CR may have thought the handling was accidental but perhaps he overheard the player who scored say something or act so smug that the got away with one that he changed his mind? Far fetched and again the CR should have made that decision initially.
It is remotely possible the scorer might admit to a handling violation. I have seen it even at the highest of levels where a referee honors the word of the player but RARE and not a recommended practice.

I can recall one match long ago where the AR at the mid line intervened on a CR decision of a handling in the PA . A PK was awarded but the attacker was in behind the defender and had reached around under the defenders arm which was partially behind his back so it looked like the defenders arm but it was his arm that knocked the ball. For some reason the mid-line AR could see it from his LONG angle of view told the referee and the culprit was Id and cautioned with DFK out.


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