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Question Number: 32451

Law 6 - The Other Match Oficials 5/15/2018

RE: Select Under 15

peter of Savannah, GA USA asks...

In the final minutes of a frantic 1-1 game blue v white,90 degree heat, my A/R flagged during a loose ball deep into whites half who recovered the ball. The A/R had not flagged at all in the game other than an offside or two and I assumed it was an offside I waived him off, ball went down the blue goal end and White scored.As I walked back to middle the blue coach was screaming to talk to my A/R which I did and he informed me he had flagged for a high kick against white. I was then left with the choice overturn goal or restart with goal given. I choose the restart. The Blue team needed the points to avoid relegation .I felt afterwards I had made the wrong choice but was also very tired which contributed. Any thoughts ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
The first point is that the outcome of the game is of no concern to the referee. It is helpful to understand the context of the game yet of no bearing on any decision.
On the question of the ARs flag I am afraid mechanic failed to deal with the situation correctly. Had the ARs flag been a fluttering flag with direction then the decision would have been clearer. It had to be conveyed as a foul by the appropriate flag rather than a possible offside flag.
In the context of a high boot that for me has to be obvious to the CR so the need for a *unseen* foul flag should not arise. High boot is also very subjective on PIADM and I would not feel it is necessary for an AR to flag particularly with the CR also looking straight at it.
So we have an *unwanted* flag situation and ARs need to think about the need to get involved in the first place. There will be some matters of fact on an AR flag that cannot be ignored such as the ball out of play, an extra player on the FOP, violent conduct behind the referees back etc. A trifling or doubtful foul is not something that needs to be flagged which can then become a reason to try to chalk off a goal or berate a referee.
As to the outcome you decided that the PIADM foul was not relevant, doubtful or trifling so you were entitled to disregard the flag and award the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Peter,
it is always difficult situation when the AR flag and the awarding of the goal seem in conflict! Coaches and players and spectators alike go ballistic when it appears the officials watching their game are not in sync with the resulting restart. As a CR and as a neutral official you can only determine the truth a you see it or know it to be. I know its not often used but integrity is the corner stone of principle in which humility and courage set down the paths we choose to follow.

The CI (crtical incidents) of matches can arrive at any time which is why concentration & focus for the full 90 minutes is a key to a good match. I grant you heat exhaustion is indeed a difficult weather situation on the mind & body, to stay hydrated and aware of what's going on.

An offside flag is stop straight up in the hand facing the referee.

A Foul is the wiggle wag in the hand pointing to the direction for the restart .

As an AR I do dislike a FOUL flag to be waved off because I would not signal a foul unless I knew if the CR saw what I saw he would call that same foul. If it was waved off because my CR felt it was offside, I question his understanding of flag procedures and would bring it to his attention at some point in the match. If a goal resulted I would DEFINATELY inform the CR about what I had seen so at least he could choose a decision based on all available knowledge. I had a referee wave my flag off for what was clearly a deliberate handing in fact it was a blatant cross punch sending the ball free to an unmarked attacker who promptly shoots, the rebound is mishandled and a goal resets. I stood there with Flag raised and motioned the CR who came over unhappily yelling he was not offside. First of you NEVER shout at your officials any talk should be quietly off to the side and private. I was ticked but I frostily waved him over and hissed in his ear there WAS no offside I flagged the #12 attacker for deliberately fist punching the ball over to his team mate whose shot lead to the goal mouth scramble. He said its too late now and awarded the goal. I was steamed and tight lipped but I did not say what was on my mind! The fact was it was NOT too late. The CR had correct information but choose to ignore it. Those along the touch line including the coach were visibly upset and filed a protest. I was called to testify at the protest but they sided with the referee it was his decision as a fact of play and nothing could be done.

My situation was a VERY clear foul so my colleague makes a fair point that a high foot, which is NOT a foul, it CAN be a form of PIADM if the opponent is truly affected in an unsafe manner. But assuming you are not blocked from view did you see anything that looked unsafe in the challenge that precipitated the flag????

I am sure the blue team will feel aggrieved but if you a CR felt the incident was not worthy of stoppage then to proceed with the kick off is the correct action.

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