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Question Number: 32565

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/3/2018

RE: NA Other

John Lubeck of Livermore, CA US asks...

Thanks very much for the answers!

I think as you note, this was not denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity, it was denying an obvious goal as the attacker had long passed the GK by. So I would contend (in my humble and basically worthless opinion) that this is not the case that was envisioned for the rule changes for the defender 'attempting to play the ball'. While one could envision a remote possibility that this defender might somehow slide the attacker from behind to positive effect, it seems unlikely that he would do it to any effect other than to score the goal himself as they were directly in the face of an open goal. And again IMHO, the defender in DOGS should face a much more stringent standard than attempting to play the ball as surely the most likely defense in a case like this is purely a cynical attempt to stop the goal.

Beyond that, what truly puzzles me is why (as just happened today in Sweden vs. Switzerland), DOGSO outside of the penalty area is a red card, but inside the penaly area may not be?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,
we are all entitled to our opinions one is not worth more only a MATCH CR though HAS final say is all. I agree a red card for denying the goal is certainly doable, reasonable and legal but that is NOT what the OPINION of the CR decided thus only yellow. That is why it is not BLACK or white a an OPINION on a FACT of play people will look at things differently. It is why I always use the saying YOUR match Your decision YOUR REPUTATION!
The PK is considered to be more of a for sure chance at goal then a DFK. Remember though we did not write the LOTG we only try to explain them lol

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
I would agree that when the player has already rounded the keeper it becomes a more morally reprehensible action, but according to the law denying a goal is an offence which involves preventing a goal ''by a deliberate handball offence.''

So as far as the law goes, this was a DOGSO offence and the relevant wording applies. This means it still hinges on how the referee judges the offence - if they think it was an attempt to play the ball it is a yellow but if the judgement is that there was ''no possibility to play the ball'' a red card can still be issued.

The reason why it's red outside the area is precisely because of the rationale behind the potential downgrading to a yellow inside the area - the so-called 'triple punishment' argument. Since there is no penalty kick when the offence is outside the penalty area, there is no triple punishment in effect so the reason for potentially downgrading (depending on circumstances) to a yellow card does not exist.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
This was a matter of opinion. The referee in real time supported by the VAR opined that it was an attempt to play the ball which is now a caution rather than a dismissal. The decision threw up an outlier as the law makers probably did not envisage very many clear cut, almost certain goals being denied by a foul on an attempt to play the ball. So as the law is written and interpreted it had to be yellow.
Now this was the interpretation at the highest level by a FIFA referee and VAR review. Is a referee without technology and VAR going to red card here? I personally doubt it as it will viewed as a foul with the foot while trying to play the ball and a penalty kick awarded. The refeee will be challenged to not award the penalty kick which happened here as well. So while we might not like the *outcome* in the Denmark game I believe most if not all referees will go with a caution in similar situations. Only in the case of a blatant trip, pull back, push from behind will the red card be issued.
As to the puzzle the answer is very simple. The Swiss player got a result of denying a goal scoring opportunity which was not *restored* with the award of a penalty kick. Even inside the penalty area there was no genuine attempt to play the ball just a blatant push in the back. Had the Danish player pushed or pulled back his opponent he too would have walked even if it was deemed inside the penalty area. The referee issued the red card immediately as he knew penalty or not the player was being dismissed.

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