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Question Number: 32089

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/11/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

A foul recognition question.

Southampton v Arsenal Two challenges seemingly similar (contact from defender on opponent after ball is played) with different outcomes.

Is there enough difference between the challenge of the late tackle in the PA then the other challenge outside the PA later in the match resulting in a yellow yet the other one in the PA was just a 'nothing here, move on everyone'.

Is the first a case of a careless challenge that is viewed as 'a coming together' post ball contact.
In pure technical terms, the same can be said of the second " a coming together after ball contact.

More important then if the CR got the first incident right or wrong " did the commentator get it right when he said 'elsewhere on the filed that would be a free kick'.

I just need clarity on if the commentator actually got a call right. We all know match officials can get a call wrong " but a commentator getting it right " I need help with that.


Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russell,

well if you repeat anything enough times eventually it could be true.
The first tackle was a foul if the ball was deemed in play but as the shot occurs first, then sails high it is the penance all shooters seemingly having to pay for missing a golden opportunity. Yes it would be a foul anywhere , if called then and there it should be a PK and no I did not think the yellow card for the later foul was necessary as he definitely pulled up, it was free kick nothing more in my opinion, no shot more of a late contact where as yellow could certainly be considered on the first foul with a greater degree of certainty . Yet his match his decision his reputation is all based on what he sees from where he was based on what he does!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
The commentator was correct. This was indeed a foul and a penalty kick with also a possible caution for USB.
What has developed in the game in recent years is the notion that once a shot has been got away that any subsequent coming together is not a foul unless it is serious foul play or a cynical back down. That question was asked recently in Q 32074
As the commentator remarks this is a foul anywhere else on the FOP so it should be a foul here also.
On the caution one it really is no different other than it was a pass rather than a shot at goal. The caution here can be a myriad of reasons ranging from a series of fouls that Arsenal were unhappy with, did the player step on the top of opponents foot?, persistent infringement etc. I suspect it was deemed a late challenge and no different in many ways from the no call.

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