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Question Number: 32005

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/7/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

How good is this commentators knowledge (about restarts) !

Also, thoughts on the penalty welcomed.
Obstruction with contact = DFK, so technically a correct call (although, I'd question if there was real obstruction).

Maybe the eventual end result of the penalty was 'just desserts' as we say down here.

BTW, what do you think of the A-League and W-League 'world first' where Coaches can be shown yellow and red cards with similar sanction as a result.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Russell,
Big fan of the A-League being Australian myself - that match certainly had some controversy!

Commentators....they were infuriating at that red card! The defender stuck his leg out to block the kick. That's more than most players do - and it's a mandatory yellow card. Had he not done that and the ball was kicked into him he might have been fine. But this was blatant.

I don't even think his more ignorant comments were captured by these highlights!

As for the penalty kick - defender stuck his leg out. Going for the ball, yes, but missed it and stuck the leg out. Did the attacker choose to run into the leg? Maybe, maybe not - but that was the path directly to the ball and he should have the right to take that path without facing a dangling leg.

I understand the Video Assistant Referee looked at this for over 2 minutes. There are some irregularities in the falling motion so the VAR was trying to spot whether something could say 'dive'. But I think there is definite contact, and the leg was stuck out in his path. I don't really see much controversy here.

As for the ability to card the coaches - I'm certainly against it. It's a problem to a solution that shouldn't exist. Referees already have the ability to deal with abuse from the technical area - they simply choose not to, which is why some coaches spend 90 minutes abusing the 4th official. If the FFA wants to clamp down on abuse from the TA, they simply need to instruct the referees to use the tools already at their disposal, and instruct the assessors to actually mark down officials for not doing this. The abuse tolerance in this competition is extremely high. I laughed when I read that the FFA want this to 'clamp down on abuse'. The best way to do that isn't through gimmicks - it's simply to get the officials to do it!!

Unfortunately, inconsistency in how officials approach the TA has always been a problem, and I fear cards will only make this worse. The managers who get away with blue murder each week still will.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a few referees eager to use this new tool and perhaps be a little tougher on bench abuse - at least with some teams.

Finally, the FFA also argued that this will communicate to the spectators when a coach is on their final warning. I disagree - when the ref runs over to the bench, everybody can see what is happening. I don't think communication is needed.

It's a gimmick, it's unnecessary, and it won't fix what the problems actually are - in fact I fear it may exacerbate some.

In fact, because there are now guidelines over what is a yellow or a red card offence from a coach, it may even remove referee discretion from some incidents. Which could, in some instances, make it harder to send off a team official.

I personally think that the only advantage it offers is that coaches with multiple yellow cards will be suspended - in contrast to a coach who gets warned every game and nothing happens.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Stonewall penalty for me. Player lifts his leg into the path of an opponents and as there is contact it is a direct free kick / penalty kick.
Pro players know that if they leave their leg in a position after making an attempt to play the ball that fails to play the ball that it is always going to draw contact by an opponent and a foul awarded. Might be harsh yet defenders need to be smarter and not make such attempts.
Here is a one in the Premier League
Monreal # 18 Red goes to play the ball, misses it and Vardy #9 Blue makes contact with the defenders outstretched leg. Could Blue have avoided the leg? Monreal knows that he was somewhat stitched up as he went for a ball, failed to play it and placed himself in a position where there was likely to be contact when Blue choses not to avoid the opponent. That is the reason for his protest.
Anyway poor body position, lame attempt to play the ball leaves it open for the contact and the foul to be called. An attacker that goes out of his way significantly to initiate contact will have the foul called the other way. Unless the referee has a great angle of view that can be a very hard call.
As regards cards for coaches I do not really have too much concern about it.I know that it is used in the US in some Youth games and I do not think that it has caused any issues there. I think that it may be more to do with TV than anything else. I saw Jose Mourinho removed recently for I understand encroaching on to the field of play in the dying moment of a game against Southampton. The FA decided not to take any sanction against him for that. If a substitute did it the sanction would be a caution. Maybe a yellow card for technical staff would send out the message to the viewing public that he is on a warning for *something* and if it is repeated that it is a red card or that the action merited a straight red card if it serious enough.
I had occasion a few years ago to sit on a panel where a referee was being berated for showing a red card to a manager. As it turned out he was a player manager so the card was entirely appropriate.

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