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Question Number: 31272

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/16/2017

RE: Adult

Mehdi of Mashhad , Khorasan Iran asks...گل-ر'کان'؛-پرسپول'س-سپاهان

Hi.Would you as a referee give this penalty?!
Was it a soft decision?!

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mehdi,
There is no real question of law here (unlike your previous question about the other penalty) - it is just a matter of the judgement of the referee at the time of the incident.

The referee in this match decided that a foul had been committed and so a penalty was the result. I cannot see that there was any obvious mistake on the part of the referee here so I do not see a particular reason to argue with his decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mehdi
The Red #15 defender has not helped his case here and he has provided the opportunity for the Yellow attacker to go down inside the penalty area by raising his left arm on to the attackers shoulder. That will look like a pulling foul all day long to the referee and certainly from a distance which is what happened here.
Yes I think one can say that the attacker went down easily and it was a soft foul yet there is no degrees of foul in the Laws just whether the foul is careless, reckless or excessive force is used.
Unfortunately in the modern game Pro players go down easily on certain contact and when an attacker feels the arm of the defender on his upper body he was afforded the opportunity to fall which *ask* the referee for a decision. For me it is the correct call and it is poor defending. Red #15 should be getting to the ball to make a challenge with no arms and not allow the attacker to ask the question of the referee with a raised arm that will be seen as a pull back.
The more important question for me is the disciplinary action taken. Under the new updated Law the Red defender has not made a genuine attempt to play the ball and I believe that the foul has denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity for which he should be dismissed. If it was genuine attempt to play the ball then it can be a caution. It is clear that Red #15 was not dismissed in this instance which is a soft decision. If it was before the Law change in June 2016 then it is certainly in error in my opinion.
To quote the updated Law
**......the offending player is cautioned unless:
# The offence is holding, pulling or pushing or
# The offending player does not attempt to play the ball or there is no possibility for the player making the challenge to play the ball or
# The offence is one which is punishable by a red card wherever it occurs on
the field of play (e.g. serious foul play, violent conduct etc.)**
Without the foul there is a goal scoring opportunity.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mehdi,
this is simply an opinion on a fact of play that the defender fouled the attacker. The match referee has his decision, his reputation on display as well.
What is interesting in the analysis is about five things of consideration, how far away the referee was, (he was way behind play) so did the AR have input, did the attacker embellish? THAT though, does not mean it was not a foul, (I think he did little to stay upright to be honest and that backward glance as he slides on the belly was did I get it!, why no card, there was no real attempt to get to the ball and did it not deny an opportunity at goal?

Only the match referee can answer what his thinking was. We can speculate but as we know the reality of a game decision is often compromised when we dissect, stop, replay and go frame by frame review. Our natural biases for opinions from the armchair are coloured by our inherent support of match officials as colleagues even when we might have alternate views.


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