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Question Number: 32310

Law 5 - The Referee 3/15/2018

RE: Pro Adult

Har Rymam of Athens, Attica Greece asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32305

I do not understand why you were surprized with the comment the AR allegedly made.
The specific stadium is one of the most difficult to referee. Diego Maradona said after he played there with Napoli, that he had never seen anything like it
This simply proved to be true, with the home teams' owner running around and allegedly threatening everyone in his path.
A team official is allegedly seen in the video, possibly threatening the match referee using the phrase "you are finished"
Something the referee has apparently documented in his game report.
The AR was apparently not qualified international UEFA level AR. A bad mistake on behalf of those who appointed him if true.
Anyway, this was all shameful for PAOK and the team will be punished as likely will the referee and assistant referee who inadvertently triggered the mess to be scrutinized.
It must be a coincidence though, that the same referee allowed the offside goal for PAOK to win last years Greek Cup

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Har
The reason for the surprise was to do with the alleged making of such a comment. Flunking the decision for whatever reason is one thing yet admitting publicly that it was done is another matter entirely.
Now much has been said about this incident with all sorts of accusation flying around. All of which is bad for the game. FIFA has engaged in the debacle and it is left now to the authorities both civil and soccer to review the situation and take the necessary action.
So while the venue might be extremely intimidating I could not see any match official admitting openly to not making a decision. I would at least expect no comment from an official at this level rather than allegedly saying it was offside but he could not call it?
As to coincidence offside is the remit of ARs 99.99% of the time. If a flag does not go up offside is rarely called except in the situation of an obvious error. Offside decision both given and not given have been overturned in the past.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Har,
thanks for the information although I take exception to the concept this was a deliberate act by any official. There was a mistake! It will have consequences, those affected OVER reacted and bobs you uncle! I just want those responding or reading to understand we are not professional fact checkers nor do we have access to the mind sets and thinking of those involved. We are a public forum that discuss the LOTG not try to throw people under a bus for making a mistake. . .

Linking the goal that was offside last year with this new aberration recently is only a coincidence that an offside decision created a some controversy as it always does. Yes it led to an ugly situation but I do take issue with the integrity aspect that the offside goal was ALLOWED last year, that somehow the referee knew it was offside. There is not a referee in the world who could grasp that was an offside goal unless he had the freeze frame view from the side and above as the cameras can display. The NEW VAR SYSTEM( video refereeing) will no doubt stop most of that almost good goal and take away the not deserved ones on close offside decisions. As THAT is what a machine can do well, stop and start and draw lines in les than a 1000th of a second!

I hold it had ZERO to do with the referee' s integrity, it was all on the AR who, no matter how talented, could find it a very difficult in REAL time to catch that offside. The CR and ARs and 4th and even the spares work a team, they do not blame the one who misses the decision, they all take it on the chin. Though they train not to screw up, it happens.

I agree 100% with you what occurs in the aftermath is shameful. The enormous pressure of expectations must indeed be a difficult burden for those officiating in such a hostile climate of deranged owners, managers, spectators and players.

If the same referee was in charge of both matches then from what I see both ARS may have let him down, neither likely meant to. . Both ARs at the two matches could have correctly chosen to raise their flags. Neither did. Nothing the CR can do as THAT is the PRIMARY job of the AR to get the offside right. He has the BEST angle to see, NOT the CR although any CR will do their level best to contribute to getting a decision right but as a team CRs TRUST their ARs &vice versa. They also know that if there is a mistake it is NOT deliberate! . Now I do not blame the ARs for making a mistake because BOTH offside decisions were difficult . The 1st was hard due to the rapid switch of play, fast ball movement and players changing directions, the 2nd because it was a grey area that leaned to offside more than onside through interpretation of a whole new criteria. .

I likely would chose not to operate in such a league if I could not be sure of the safety of my self and family should I make a mistake.
Yes we can criticize a referee for a perceived poor performance but when you attack his honour, his credibility. When you seek to undermine his decision making, to think of him as less a human being then there is something twisted in your heart, warped in your thinking and cold in your soul. . THe odd referee who succumbs to the dark side is influenced to not be neutral I despise them as well but most of those running in the middle take pride and ownership of our actions

I have refereed for over 45 years, I have never deliberately tried to screw a team over by making up a call. I have been accused of it and to those that choose to believe I am capable of doing so I hold they are likely capable of it themselves. Integrity is the gift of self respect you give to yourself, it can NEVER be taken from you . You must give it away. AND if you do it could indeed be very difficult to get it back!


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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Har,
I think there are two main reasons to treat unsubstantiated reports of something the AR is alleged to have said with circumspection.

Firstly, it is that the reports are exactly that - unsubstantiated.

Secondly, the remarks are in direct contradiction to both the referee's match report and the AR's actions at the time.

The third reason is a little more subjective admittedly, but I agree with my colleagues that it would be very unusual for a match official to say that he saw a decision as being one way but wanted the referee to call it the opposite way.

All in all, without obviously being able to rule it out completely, I can see no good reason to believe the reports of the alleged remarks and several reasons not to.

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