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Question Number: 31332

High School 3/10/2017

RE: Rec High School

Salvador Flores of Indianapolis , IN Usa asks... Is this a foul or not and why or why not?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Salvador,
I am already on record that this is a foul and the German keeper should have been sent off. In the match it was not flagged by the AR nor did the referee view it from a good angle being far in behind play. It was a quick counter so while I can have some sympathy for the referee to miss that it was a foul and get the restart completely wrong . The ball was punched away by the keeper thus at minimum it was an Argentinian throw . How it became a free kick for Germany was a WT heck moment. Still the worst part was the referee LATER in the post game review saying this was an acceptable action undertaken by the keeper even as he admitted it should have been a throw in. Not my decision. Not my match/ Not my reputation. At least in 2010 WC the referee admitted if he had seen the Dutch boot into the chest of the Spaniard he would have sent him off . In the 2014 I believe the referee sent out a TERRIBLE message in the post game in justifying this as reasonable behaviour. Clearly dangerous clearly excessive clearly unfair . A CMI event blatantly missed

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Salvador
The question had been hotly debated quite a lot among the soccer community at the time.
At this level of the game this type of aggressive contact between players in these situation tends to be ignored. I read at the time that Graham Poll the former UK FIFA referee said that for him Neuer was not at fault as he stretched to punch the ball away and his momentum caught his opponent. He went to say that Referee Rizzoli was wrong to give Germany a free kick when a throw-in seemed the right decision.
That decision did surprise me as well as the foul was by Neuer although Referee Rizzoli did not have the benefit of what we have which is action reply, freeze frame, slow motion and the time to make the call. Referee spill though did have that benefit!
Im off the view that in the comfort of my chair looking at multiple video replays, different angles that it was certainly reckless by Neuer and also likely to endanger the safety of an opponent which is a red card offence.
Would I have awarded a penalty in a game situation and sent off the goalkeeper? Probably I may have thought it in real time it was a coming together at speed of two player committed to the ball and most likely to go with a throw in.
At lower levels of the game the manner in which the ball is won needs to be sternly dealt with.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

As a high school referee, my opinion is that in high school games, the goalkeeper would be guilty of reckless play with unnecessary and disproportionate force and would be disqualified. The goalkeeper acted recklessly and put both him and his opponent in danger. However, please remember that high school players do not have the skill level that the professional players in this video exhibit, so that the referee decision, as in this situation, has to be determined by the skill level and control that the players at the skill level exhibit.

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