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Question Number: 32877

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/13/2018

RE: Rec Adult

russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

CR7 Foul?

We see pushing fouls given at dead ball FK's often enough (probably should see more!).

Did CR7 push a defender away moments before his typically and clinically taken goal against Milan.

Totally get that no Milan player asked the question, least of all the defender himself. Totally get this is a 'pro' match (higher tolerance etc.). Totally get it was a light push. But sometime, just the right amount of a push at the right time can stop or at least hinder a players ability to stay involved.

I understand that if we pulled this up then there should be a lot of other stoppages in the game. However, in key match incidents should the tolerance be not so liberal?

Of course the match officials may not have seen this, as the 'flow' of moment from CR7 seemed so beautifully natural. It took me the benefit of replays to see it.

But I ask, for reference for the times in matches that I do see it live as it happens. What is acceptable. What not. As always, 'Gotcha' calls are not fun for anyone. But in goal scoring moments...

And like in close penalty calls where we use the measure stick of 'if the call went the other way, what would the creation be'.

I'm not saying the call was wrong, but asking to what level do we allow, because, as mentioned, sometimes it only takes a well time low level push with no great force, to give a player an advantage.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
I had to look at it a number of times to see the *push*
If the referee called that there would be some head scratching as to what the call was for.
In no way is this a push in the sense of Law 12. At the very worst it is trifling and extremely doubtful. There is always going to be contact between players and we have to look at those contacts that influence play. The defender does not even register the contact and I would say that it never even crossed the referees mind that there was anything untoward in the lead up to the goal.
Even at parks level this would never be called. If it was there would be 70/80 fouls a game.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Russel,
at any level there is a certain amount of off the ball separation where players will back into or ward away the opponent.
That said on free kicks , or on actually challenges or play within the PA such a push could garner scrutiny. I draw back a foot to shoot it would take little to upset the equilibrium. Not all fouls are spectacular. I had a defender that every time the attacker would start a run he would impede with contact, I used to call it holding. Many newer or unobservant ARs would often not grasp this was foul given play was on opposite side of the FOP. I think if the player had fallen then perhaps a case for truly game impacting event. Terrible defending if one looks at the positioning.

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