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Question Number: 31337

Mechanics 3/12/2017

RE: Rec Adult

russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Something you don't see too often, advantage signalled, and then almost immediately called back for the foul.

Fast forward to the 5:09 mark.

The Ref has seen a foul, also see's that Everton are on the attack, yet calls it back almost straight away.

Overall, it looks to be the a good call to come back to the foul as there really is little advantage to Everton with the ball so wide and a defender covering the attacker.

However, as it looks like the AR signalled a foul, the CR called it back.

So a few thoughts around this.

While the final say rests with the CR, is it possible that the CR called it back, simply because the AF flagged, or, he called it back as the AR was now out of poison in regards to the offside line, and as such, the CR knowing this, called it back so as to remove and potential issue had there been one within the ensuing play.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
I think a wait and see would have been better here than the advantage signal The referee clearly saw the foul and thought that allowing play to continue with an advantage was best. He quickly realised though that the Blue player was going into the corner with no real advantage so the best decision was to bring it back to the foul. The position of the AR would have nothing to do with it.
The learning point is that advantage is not just about possession of the ball and that understanding what happens next is the key. By signalling advantage the referee can create a problem both ways in that if it does not realise with possession being wasted the fouled against team will complain and if it us brought back the fouling team will opine that the team had its advantage.
In this situation Referee Mailey did not think that the White player would have had to go to the corner with his back to goal to continue play. Once he realised that he brought the play back to the foul which he was entitled to do in Law. If perhaps he had given himself a second or so he would not have gone with advantage. We have all been there.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russell,
I think the AR was trying to support the foul but had not taken the responsibility for assuming advantage! It almost appears as if the AR thinks the CR missed it but the signal for advantage was being shown almost as the arm with the flag was raised.
I am of the opinion the CR simply realized that the free kick from that location was likely better than anything that was to develop in the corner. Advantage, be it a CLEARLY signalled one with arms extended 'Advantage ! and Play on!' or simply a delay of the whistle to await an outcome. The CR has to equate the seriousness of what transpired to the REAL possibilities of what EVENTUALLY might occur. It is in my opinion almost always a good decision to look what occurs and see where the ball goes as to whether there is a true tactical advantage BETTER than that free kick. No referee likes to be so quick on the whistle saying ah ha I saw that the foul just before the ball is about to roll into the goal. However in situations where such an occurrence is NOT really in evidence & being aware of possibilities and anticipating what might occur you can point to the foul location as the best option out there!

There was a possibility of a cross developing but it was being contested with closing defenders and the attackers not yet on the ball. We are permitted to wait a few seconds to analyze and decide IF there WAS/IS an actual advantage in play. I think it was the best decision to award that foul . Perhaps in hindsight a wait to see moment rather than a reversal of a signalled advantage would have been a better decision but advantage consideration is certainly not the wrong decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
Although it is unusual for a referee to call an advantage back almost immediately, I'm not sure there is anything too untoward here.

The law says that the referee ''penalises the infringement or offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time or within a few seconds.''

So although it maybe looked a little messy, in the end the referee has made the right decision given, as you say, there really was little advantage to be had.

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