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Question Number: 30900

Law 6 - The Other Match Oficials 10/14/2016

RE: competitive Adult

Jacob Mungoma of Malindi, Kenya Kenya asks...

I was CR for a league match. A DFK was being taken by Whites at around 30 yards from Blues goal direct to the post closer to the AR. The Blues had formed their barrier and I had taken a position on the left of the kicker and behind the barrier where I could also see the AR. l whistled. The ball was kicked straight into the wall, rebounded and was quickly kicked upfield to meet a Blues no 7 who broke for an attempt to score. The eye contact between me and leading AR during taking of the FK was very clear, I did not see any foul and there was no sign of one from the players themselves. There was no flag up. So I had turned and was running the other side with Blue7 breaking into the PA. l heard a queer applause, picked the AR behind me, my goodness! The flag was now up! l signalled him down but he did not. Before I decided otherwise, a kick sounded. It went of target. The flag was still up, I went to talk to him, he said there was a handball infringement at the Blues barrier and would not change his mind. His flag was still raised. l had to call for another DFK against the Blues. It bore no goal though but I felt bad! what went wrong here? If it were you what would you do?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jacob
An assistant who is insisting rather than one that is assisting.
These type of situations should be discussed in the pre match instructions to ARs. As described it is the centre referees to call and NOT the ARs. ARs should only be instructed to flag offences in their vicinity probably no more than 10 /12 yards and on incidents UNSEEN by the referee. If a referee is looking clearly at the incident, has an unobstructed view then no flag should be raised. If a flag is waved down then it should be dropped immediately. The only flag that should remain up is when the ball leaves play.
Now in this situation the referee is no more than 12 yards from the wall looking directly at it. The AR is at least 25+ yards away with a side on view. If there was a doubt the CR should make eye contact which you did and no flag suggests that all is well.
Now as play had continued to the other end with no obvious appeal for handling then unless it was say an offence that happened behind the referees back say violent conduct the restart should be a goal kick to White. I would politely tell the assistant referee that the game is restarting with a goal kick as there was no deliberate handling. Once the game restarts with the goal kick that is the end of the matter. Now the AR might take exception to that and so be it. The referee cannot have a situation where ARs are insisting rather than assisting. Even if he walks away in a huff the CR is better off without that type of assistance.
Anyway you did take the flag reluctantly and so be it. Put it down to experience and ensure that the instructions to ARs is much clearer next time. Plainly it should not happen even without the instructions.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jacob,
we often receive complaints or frustration represented in the AR /CR relationship bubble. The ARs feel the CR takes them for granted and CRs believe the ARs are trying to insist too much. In your case I tend to think the AR was too insistent. Mind until you have done either and both for a while it takes time to appreciate each others job yet be very clear in your own. I know it is difficult but a solid pregame helps set the tone for the match. AR duties are to assist the CR with the match by observing from the across field angle the offside positioning of the 2nd last defender or the ball and events that occur unseen by the referee. Now the AR is empowered to make his thoughts known to the CR by the raising of the flag, that in his opinion, play COULD be stopped. It is STILL the responsibility of the referee to DECIDE if it is so. The FLAG is ONLY a signal to the CR it is NOT a signal for players to stop playing only a whistle sounding or the ball obviously kicked well out of play would give cause for that. A CR might say to his or her ARs if play is close to you (as within 5 to ten yards) and I have no line of sight or am way too far away I will give you the go ahead to call it by raising /waving your flag but CONSIDER how I have been calling it throughout the match, be 100% sure and if I wave you off please do not get irritated, we can discuss later . IF HOWEVER, if I wave you off, unless you feel this is a missed critical match event of biblical proportions bide your time till the next stoppage to fill me in privately.

At every stoppage and every restart you should try to get eye contact to ensure the restart you are going ahead with has no hidden issues. Positioning on free kicks? I can not say taking a position in behind the wall works well? Especially if the AR HAS that position as well? That said if you had eye contact with the AR and saw no flag raised when play was reversed, the late flag or after thought by the AR has created a problem given he is adamant there was a deliberate handling.

Perhaps he may think it went unseen given your position. He MAY have thought you DID see it, were going to whistle it, waited for you to do so, saw that you were not, then, thinking you missed it, raised the flag a bit late. Yet when you waved him off, he MUST drop that flag and grumble silently, perhaps try to gain your ear before the next restart to voice his concerns. . You stated, 'Before I decided otherwise, a kick sounded. It went of target.' Do I interpret this as the kick went out of play into touch setting a new restart? HERE is where the AR could signal the CR, 'Hey can we talk and then state the reason, IF he thought it so important to do so. You have up until a new restart to go back and correct any mistake IF you are CERTAIN there was one. If you do NOT accept the AR input and felt there was no infraction or foul then go with the restart that put the ball out of play or did you simply whistle play dead to deal with the raised flag ? This then is an inadvertent whistle and a drop ball restart would be correct if you do not accept the AR ADVISE of a DFK for deliberate handling

You were under no compulsion to award a DFK for the AR input. You certainly should be very firm in why the flag was not dropped but given you acquiesced to the AR insistence, it no doubt reaffirmed he was right to do as he did when in fact he was not. ARs have a difficult job, they truly do but making headaches for CRs need not be one of them. You learned a lesson take it and move on

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