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Question Number: 32470

Mechanics 5/24/2018

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32466

I have a question about something referee McHugh said...that he would caution both players. I thought that if you didn't see the 'initial' foul (& no AR did) that you couldn't punish that person, however unfair that may seem.

Sometimes the initial player didn't commit a foul & the 2nd player was just frustrated. Unless you get some verification from the first player (e.g. 'Why did you push him?' Answer: 'I don't know or it was an accident or he's been hassling be'), I thought you could only card the person who retaliated...or you could warn both players.

In this case, the OP said he had a good view & didn't see an initial push, so I would think you couldn't card for something you didn't see.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Phil,
well you are correct but can you prove it? When players are engaged in confrontation even if we have the right idea, some idea or no idea of what precipitated all of this we still must arrive at some decision. Our gut rumbles, our minds ponder, what action best solves this? You might piece it together. Or notice something that raises your hackles, a blood spot or open injury. Direct ask ,why did you kick/hit him? Not saying you will get an admittance but it might help deescalate the tension or situation as one of calming both teams if both players are carded rather than one . You are spot on if you only see one player do one thing it is not feasible to look back over time to see the unseen that only might have occurred! Yet we might be aware of history and have inklings of ho this all began, where the "talk" solves things if we are sure no VC that you DID see is going unresolved. I have admitted to the player seething with injustice, I know more than what I saw transpired but is this finished or do I have to do more here?

Just a thought though, the situation under discussion was simultaneous PI ADM where the referee thinking KID safety stop play. It SEEM rather harsh to award one team a free kick if the LOTG no longer want us to do drop ball for such things. An INDFK taken inside the PA for that team could translate into a scoring opportunity. If I was unsure INDFK out, not going to award a goal opportunity from nothing!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
There are times in games when the referee has to make the *best* decision in the circumstances for match control purposes through the use of cautions..
In my example the player who started the furore was chased aggressively by his opponent who pushed him forcefully. I knew immediately that in the game it was out character with what had happened to that point and the *retaliation* was immediate and a reaction to something that happened between the players. I did not clearly see the *something* yet I knew it was there, based on all the circumstances.
I then decided that I would caution BOTH players for USB. The opponent was claiming VC to which I told him that I did not see it sufficiently to dismiss and he accepted that. The two cards quelled the situation. One card would have been added fuel to the situation as not only did the initiator get no card the provoked / offended against player does
Do not get me wrong. I have had a few unseen red card / yellow card situations over the years where I could not take action because I did not see the incident nor had I any inkling of what happened. In those I could not write a truthful report of what I saw nor did I caution the player/s as I just did not know what went on.
However there are times for match control purposes that the referee has to *dispense justice*. If justice is not seen to be delivered players will quickly decide to deliver it themselves. In my situation the player that kicked off the situation could easily have created another USB situation and he gets a yellow and his opponent gets a second yellow. There was an undercurrent after the two cards between the players yet both knew that I would walk both should it kick off again. That kept a lid on that particular situation.
It also helped that I knew the players from previous games and seasons so in some ways reputation was also a consideration. I also believe that in these situations the offending party will probably do enough after the incident to merit a card for the after which can include verbals, grabbing / holding / pushing. I have also held back on a card in situations where I felt that one card was unfair.
I recall in a PL game between Liverpool and Everton Referee Bobby Madley not cautioning for obvious USB by one player followed by verbals/ altercation by the offended against player. I am unsure if he felt that a card would negate subsequent video discipline or that two cards would have been *unfair* so in the end he went with neither after consulting with the 4th official.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Phil,

One of the things that makes refereeing so deep and complex is that even referees won't always agree on the approach to certain scenarios. Personally I disagree with the position taken by my esteemed colleagues - I'm not going to book a player for something I didn't see. Players don't necessarily take offence at something another player has said or done - but over their perception of something another player has said or done. I've seen players retaliate against completely accidental actions, such as stumbling into the back of a player. For all you know it could have been something tat innocuous that set it off.

But you use what you can see. If players are squaring up at each other, then while you may have missed the first incident you can see aggression on both parts. So that's enough to take action. Though it may be that finding an excuse to card both players also ends up with you punishing the victim, which won't help matters at all.

Whichever action you take, you may need to adjust your positioning a bit to keep them both in your peripheral vision, especially if they come close to each other again. Either player may start something or be the victim of retaliation so you need to keep a close eye on things. For the AR's, this is when it's really important to be constantly scanning the field for off-the-ball incidents because the referee can't possibly see everything.

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