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Question Number: 32237

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/15/2018

RE: competive Adult

Scott of Perth, WA Australia asks...

An attacker player had a shot on Goal bounce of crossbar straight down.. A defendeing player thought it was a goal ( I didnt see if the ball went in Or not) so he pick the ball up. The referee stop play and sent him of for dogso by handball. And awarded a penalty kick. Is this the correct call to sent the player.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
Technically it could be the right decision as the referee I assume did not see the ball cross the line. However if no goal was denied which depends on other factors after the ball came off the crossbar such as whether an attacker was denied an opportunity to play the ball or if the ball was destined to cross the line subsequently then if not there is no red card for a DOGSO.
However this is where Law 18 could come into effect. The player obviously saw,I assume, the ball cross the line so in a way he made a decision for the game. It does happen from time to time on lesser decisions where players make a decision on the ball being over a line and makes a call that the referee did not clearly see by kicking the ball back for a goal kick, corner kick etc. Would we question that or should we? My approach might have been to award the goal and restart with a kick off. It may not be technically correct but it could be the best decision for the game. If the team complained, which is unlikely with a clear cut pick up of the ball, I would tell them to speak with the defender and advise them if it was not a goal it was a penalty kick and maybe a possible red card depending on the situation. Most if not all teams will accept that as the PK is most likely to result in a goal and playing short for a DOGSO, if present, will not protest. If it was in the 91st + minute in. 0-0 game they may have a different view !! It is certainly an outlier event that is unlikely to challenge referees too many times.
At higher levels of the game the only decision is a penalty kick and then to make a judgement on the DOGSO based on the actual circumstances based on player positions, ball direction etc.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Scott,
I know if there is a mash up by the touchline and a ball squirts into touch and one team seems to back off if I was unsure I left things as they were. Integrity by the players is a good thing.

Its a wee bit different at the goal line as a kick off or corner kick or goal kick are all possibilities and the effects are much greater than a simple restart of a throw in .

Although I prefer greater certainty before awarding a goal then either a corner or goal kick a casual admittance by the defending team they see a close decision as a goal might be enough for me & my ARs to go along with the kick off. I do recall playing on muddy fields were the goal line is obscured and recall yelling, 'CAN NOT BE SURE! PLAY PLAY PLAY!' on a few shots that rolled along or hit a crossbar and down or post and across. I also recall a rain filled youth town championship with a keeper turning around picking up a ball that smacked the underside of the crossbar and bounced up and was caught but not before creating a distinct ball impression in the ground . The striker was celebrating a goal. Rather than whistle, I yelled 'Keeper stay EXACTLY where you are! and ran over took the ball from his hands and placed it on the very clear singularly distinct mud impression at his feet . Had a very clear look from post to post saw that the white post hide about 1'/2 inch of ball . Handed the ball back to the keeper, Cannot be sure! NO goal Please continue!
Now I do not suggest this as a good example of creative officiating but it did satisfy those in this match that I put some due diligence into the decision rather than best guess. lol I was fortunate the impression was clear and not tied in with others.
This was a bit different than if a player did it I grant you but whether we try to use common sense to dig out from beneath this problem our options are limited. I have had a player catch a ball on its way into goal realize what he did then tossed it over his shoulder into the goal as he saw I was shaking my head and raising the whistle , He was the keeper in the first half and reacted instinctively on the first shot at his goal while playing out in the 2nd half. . I did not even caution him I was laughing too hard It raised a few eyebrows but the team that shot got the goal and the former keeper now an out player got to stay in the match I thought it a win win. It was a recreational city to city weekend league ! Where if I had red carded the poor sod he would be unable to play in any other match later in the day each team played two games sometimes 3 when they travelled town to town.
I believe there is less tolerance at the elite level so a Kick off is likely the best option, unless you are 100% sure it did not go in then PK and card caution if it was just stopping play and an opponent had no chance to slot it home. If the catch resulted in an opponent being unable to play the rebound into goal I suppose a red card send off for DOGSOH could be a solution. .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Scott,
I could see a penalty being given here but a red card for denying a goal (or goal scoring opportunity) strikes me as a little more problematic. I'm struggling to see a scenario where a ball which had hit the bar, come down and then ended up on the ground where a player could pick it up, would have been destined for the net. I suppose there could have been a situation where, as ref McHugh says, an attacker was denied an opportunity to score but you don't mention that being the case, so it sounds as though the red card might have been a bit of an over-reach by the referee.

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