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Question Number: 32552

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/29/2018

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32547

In the reply to Petr of Prague question on collisions " which is a great question on foul recognition " I am confused a little by some aspects of the replies by the panel.
Overall I am in line with the panels assessments and considerations, however, I am not sure about 'an onus to play as well'.

Where in the LOTG does that exist.

Absolutely agree, a player is entitled to their position, and also agree in the 'principle' of the idea of 'onus to play', but in this first incident, did the player really have enough time to move otherwise ?

Similar to a ball to hand situation where there is little time to react, should we not also consider how much time a player has to react in any given situation (it can be quicker to react with a single limb of the body [HB], then the whole, or, large part of the body [obstruction]).

In this first example provided by Petr, it seems like there was very little time to do anything other then be 'entitled to their position'.

I watch a lot of basketball where 'charging' and 'blocking' are two of the most common fouls and look to employ learning from that to football.

In the not so long ago included 'sprite' of the game, it could be argued that the 'onus' should be considered as part of the 'Spirit'. Equally, from a technical aspect, nothing says it must be.

As Ref McHugh says, sometimes there is just accidental contact an players just run into each other.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
** The Laws cannot deal with every possible situation, so where there is no direct provision in the Laws, The IFAB expects the referee to make a decision within the *spirit* of the game – this often involves asking the question, **what would football want/expect? **
Many times it is not black and white. It is left to a judgement call yet I expect a player to at least play the ball in this situation which is the whole basis of the game.
In the French game the referee decided there was no foul. He based that on what he saw.
For me the ball came from a distance and the defender made an anticipation of judging the flight of the ball and landing area. He simply then decides to stand there, braces himself as he knows there is going to be contact which there was. That for me was a foul as he knew exactly what he was doing which was to stop the run of his opponent. I could see why it was not given as the referee may have felt that it was simply a coming together of two players which he appears to motion to. I would say if he looked at it again with the benefit of replay he would see the intent of the defender. He made no effort to move after the ball to try to play and it was not as if Varne his team mate was directly behind him for an immediate challenge. He knew that if he stopped the attacker the ball would go to a team mate. To me it is a pick / screen which is not legal in soccer

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russell,
given that foul evaluation is an OPINION of the facts as seen by the referee from the angle of view and at real time speed there will be variations of outcomes such is the nature of football. My colleague is convinced the pick was a deliberate effort to impede the player not play the ball . I saw it slightly different as the oncoming player was NOT watching the player but the ball and the defender realized the collision was going to occur thus went in sideways shoulder out and braced for impact. Now there is room to see it as a block/pick given he did not jump for the ball but so too their is onus on players to watch where they are going. The attacker did none of that, he just blindly followed the ball flight. I see that as a potential charging foul. The referee saw it as nothing play on! The thing is to see it the same for both teams no matter which referee's opinion is used in the same match!

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