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Question Number: 32170

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/16/2018

Iain Hodgen of Barnoldswick, United Kingdom asks...

Keeper and attacker challenge for a ball. Keeper takes it clean but feigns the striker injured him when no contact was made. Referee sees there was no contact what does he give ie simulation?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Iain
Never an easy one. Under the Laws of the Game it is a caution for the goalkeeper for simulation and an IDFK restart from where the offence took place.
The on-field reality is somewhat more difficult unless it is 110% clear that there was no contact nor COULD there be have been any.
In the past I have looked at situations where I thought there was no contact only to find that in fact there was. I recall a player going down injured on an aerial challenge and I could not see a foul. I thought he was feigning injury to find a large gash down the back of his leg where the defender inadvertently caught him on the way down to ground, unseen by myself. It can be difficult to see all possible points of contact such as arms, feet etc.
In the case where the goalkeeper goes down injured it can be under challenge from an opponent. It can be a strain, an inadvertent arm, slight contact or whatever. If he is down injured with no apparent foul I will stop the game and restart with a dropped ball.
We have all witnessed silly exaggeration of contact on TV by players, coaches etc to justify not getting dismissed or to get players sent off. It can be difficult with one quick view to ascertain what exactly happened. As I said never easy and the referee has to make the best call for the game in the circumstances. Sometimes the power of doing nothing can be the best approach.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Iain,
calling out a player as a CHEATER for that is what is occurring in a simulation to unfairly draw a foul or prompt unwarranted cardable actions against opponents when NO injustice, no foul was has occurred!

As my esteemed colleague Ref McHugh correctly points out not all contact is easily visible, a nip of a stud on an ankle, a downward push on the shoulder, a nudge in the back, a clash of thighs, a knee or a foot drag into the side of the head as you dive over a tumbling player.

At high speeds and various angles you can easily miss the contact so in awarding an INDFK for simulation to show a yellow card and thus publically acknowledge the keeper here is faking thus cheating, is a big decision of which you bloody well be sure of! If indeed it is simulation by all means punish it, for it is disgraceful conduct and a blight on the game . I

In the case of keepers going down coming up injured, it is tough position to play, they have my admiration, throwing themselves into the oncoming feet of opposition strikers. I am surprised there are not more serious accidents so. Yes I give a very large benefit of doubt to keepers that claim to be hurt and would go with a drop ball rather than manufacture a foul if the opponent had done nothing wrong or lay claim that the keeper was merely play acting to perhaps waste time or draw a foul or prompt an unwarranted card

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