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Question Number: 32855

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/29/2018

RE: competive Adult

Mika Lehtonen of Helsinki, Finland asks...

Man Utd was awarded a penalty when Martial brought down by the defender. Decision was controversal as others thought that the tackle was clean and others saw Martial dive.

Mark Clattenburg said: 'Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye won the ball ball with his first-half tackle'.

Did he really win the ball? I saw Martial win the duel.

What if this happens in front of an empty goal?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
Referee Jon Moss got one go at this in real time. It looked like the Everton player stuck out his leg, did not play the ball and therefore the outstretched leg brought down Martial. That will have looked like a penalty.
With the luxury of action replay, freeze frame, slow motion etc there was a slight touch by the Everton player on the ball. That will have been difficult to see particularly when there was no discernible change of direction of the ball caused by the second touch by Martial which one would expect on the ball being clearly played in the tackle.
Now players at this level know or should know that if a leg is stuck out to play the ball and that does not happen clearly there is going to be contact most times resulting in a foul. It was naive defending by the Everton player. Martial helped the decision making by ensuring contact and going to ground. The Everton player by using his left leg here instead of his right had his body position all wrong.
In the game between Crystal Palace and Arsenal the foul on was much the same type of scenario.
Now the Premier League has decided not to use VAR so such decisions are just part and parcel of a game refereed using the traditional method. Referees cannot compete with technology which is why FIFA introduced the use of VAR. On VAR review the referee would have opined that due to the slightest touch by the defender on the ball first that there was no foul. Throw in Martial going to ground easily and it could easily have been overturned.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mitka,
The great benefit of replay and frame by frame dissection is sometimes it sorts out conjecture & facts from speculation then again sometimes it confirms confirmation bias. In real time that's a PK every time. It was however, a legitimate challenge for the ball and inside the PA even in front of an open goal it will be at most a yellow card not red card for DOGSO because it WAS a legitimate well timed challenge to poke the ball .
yup the BUT part,
is the ball went off blue boot, however , it then went off the yellow boot exactly in the direction the red player required and he was in on goal without the contact.
Lets be honest, it was a touch on the ball, in NO way did the blue player WIN the ball, he got a touch on the ball and the red player got a touch with control right away off his left boot & then there was contact!
The contact point appears to be upper thigh as the red player attempts to cut away left as our blue player is trying to withdraw his straight lunge. Is there a sell on the part of the red player to exaggerate the contact? Did he move into the outstretched blue leg rather than try to avoid it and could have cut left sooner? Was he already in stumble mode due to that first legitimate poke of the ball ?
Look at this older video where in the 1st example FIFA has stated NOT a foul by the way the attacker moved into the defender to draw contact.

I saw no definite movement even in slow motion that convinces me that was so.
Did the red player go down too easily? Given his position relative to the ball and the fact his opponent was wrong footed to begin to chase the ball. I think if he could have stayed on his feet he would because I agree with you I think he nearly lost because he exposed the ball just a bit but winning it back immediately lends credence to the contact as a trip rather than a coming together after a tackle. If the ball had been clearly moved away and had not been immediately retouched by the red player I agree the tackle was reasonable and no PK No foul would be justifiable even with the contact after.

It looks like a FANTASTIC opportunity for FIFA IFAB the FA to step in and state for all to hear why this was or was not a foul because it has such clarity of view YET such divergence of opinion. We all get that ITOOTR always looms large based on angle of view and real time BUT here is a golden parachute for FIFA to FULLY explain if this decision is 100% spot on or if a VAR ruling would do as my good colleague suggests and take the PK away?

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