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Question Number: 32167

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/14/2018

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


very curious situation for you from French league. Player fouled referee and referee kicked player. LOL

Video (in time 4:00)
Two questions please.

A) Why is it yellow card?
B) Why is it direct free kick?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI petr.
Hmm if the referee retaliated against a player by kicking him perhaps he will have to answer for such VC ? The LOTG were altered so that ANY misconduct directed towards the referee , by a player, sub or team official when the ball is in play the restart is treated as a DFK. To think the incident is ONLY a caution for USB? flies in the face of reality as most any deliberate action taken against an official is more likely to draw VC rather than USB.
Unfortunately I was unable to view this link? Perhaps later I will find another to help me understand the entire situation properly!

WOW thanks to my colleague Ref Grove I did get a chance to see this incident and unless the player said something derogatory or had previously had engaged the referee in some other foolishness that I am unaware of it was a disgusting incident. I was saddened and shocked by the referee's response.

The referee was OBVIOUSLY angry and irritated at the player, certainly the lashing out was a deliberate retaliatory strike and I believe he will answer to that at some point! .

IF the restart WAS a DFK to the opposition the referee felt he was aggrieved party in being tripped and took no blame in the coming together. But IF he felt so then perhaps it SHOULD be a DIRECT red card for VC?

To see the yellow card , caution then the red card I did not see him indicate it was a 2nd caution? If it was the referee was angry at the players' indifference or attitude as dissent but UNSURE it was a deliberate tripping action. I again was puzzled at the thought the Referee kicked the player deliberately but if it was an accidental coming together and an accidental stoppage. I do not see why a drop ball could not solve this? To award the INDFK for dissent given the trip STOPPED play would make no sense?

I have had the occasional run in on the pitch with the odd player but in 40 years I never felt it was deliberate. In watching I have the very real feeling the referee here was 100% convinced the player did it either on purpose or made no attempt to mitigate the collision. The player either thought it too funny or indicated his contempt to the referee in a way not shown on the camera.
No matter our speculation I think the referee here may have well dug a hole and will suffer the consequences of spreading all this dirt around!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
Although I was also unable to view the link you supplied, I was able to find the clip elsewhere and I have to say I was shocked. This appears to me, to be a situation where the referee has cut across into the player's path, causing the player to accidentally collide with him. The referee then kicks out at the player from the ground.

Even if the player had deliberately tripped the referee (and I don't think he did) there's still no excuse for a referee kicking a player. A player kicking an opponent in that way in retaliation for a perceived foul would quite probably be sent off. I just can't fathom what this referee could possibly have been thinking. For him then to add insult to injury by sending the player off for a second yellow card is equally incomprehensible to me.

I'm sorry to have to say this about a refereeing colleague but I feel he should be sanctioned for this and might quite possibly end up having to take his retirement a little earlier than planned (he was apparently due to retire at the end of the season anyway).

If there had been a physical offence by the player against the referee (and again, I don't think there was) it would have been the correct decision to award a direct free kick to the opposition.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The words unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented come to mind for this incident. It is part of an Irish used acronym of UBU. Clearly it was an accidental coming together of player and referee at speed and the referee reacts by apparently kicking out at an opponent after a foul. The video clearly shows the referee cutting across the players path trying to get to the action in the penalty area and the player makes unintentional contact.
The referee also appears to shows a lack of knowledge of the Laws as if the action here was deliberate and that is the offence he sanctioned it is a straight red card for violent conduct not a caution. As to the restart the Laws tell us that * If the ball is in play and a player commits an offence inside the field of play against:
# an opponent indirect or direct free kick or penalty kick
# a team-mate, substitute, substituted or sent off player, team official or a match official a direct free kick or penalty kick
# any other person a dropped ball**
As the offence was against a match official it is a direct free kick restart. I am unsure what restart actually took place.
Now it is being suggested by media that the yellow card was for dissent and if that was the case then the restart should have been an IDFK.
Referees are not above the Law and I fully expect the French Ligue to investigate this fully, hear from the player and the referee and to sanction strongly here. It is being reported in the media that the referee has been allegedly removed from his next assignment and 'temporarily suspended' and that he is to meet the League Disciplinary panel and to furnish a report.
Over many years I can recall perhaps two incidents of players making contact with me. One had no apology and I felt there could have been a small element of intent yet I could not be sure as I was on the move at the time and perhaps the player did not take kindly to me getting in his way. Anyway I just let it slide and nothing more came of it. In these situations the referee would need to be 110% sure that the players actions are deliberate and intentional before taking action which can result in a lengthy sanction. Under FAI rules a player that commits VC against a referee is suspended for a minimum of 12 months and many get more than that where a fist is raised .

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