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Question Number: 32904

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/1/2018

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Pushing foul

in the lead up to the first goal of the match between Huddersfield and Brighton, there is a push by an attacker that allowed him to get free and advance the ball on via a header. Was this push worthy of a foul.

Not given in this moment, but is that because it was unseen, or, if it was seen, because not 'in a manner considered by the referee to be careless,
reckless or using excessive force' as the rule specifies. Clearly nor reckless or excessive.

So is it careless?

Appreciate that the Careless, reckless and excessive are probably in place to ward against injury threatening actions, and push in this instance is not of that nature, however, an advantage was gained from it.

I get really confused when clear illegal actions are not pulled up (assuming they are seen) are dismissed as 'Trivial'. I wonder if VAR would have changed the outcome if it was in use?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
It does not look like a push to me at least not enough to warrant a foul bring awarded. Referee Oliver is very close to the action and he would have seen / sensed a foul had there been one.
In addition there was no appeal from the Brighton players for any foul so in the Pro game there is an *acceptance* of a certain level of contact between players at that level. Had there been a foul it is highly likely that there would have been an appeal to the referee.
I watched a Championship game between Sheffield Utd and Leeds Utd at the weekend and there were two instances of contact between players which had shirt pulls. Neither were called and it looked like both players were oblivious to the contact. Post match there was debate among the panel yet in Pro game situations some of the contact is just seen as physicality.
Now on the use of VAR I doubt that the Brighton one would have been brought to the attention of the referee. For me there is no clear obvious error and I would also opine that the referee was looking at the play and saw nothing untoward.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
I've had a look at the highlights and at least on the replays that were included in what I saw, I'd have to say I couldn't spot anything worthy of a foul. From what I saw of the post match interviews, neither the Brighton players nor their manager made any suggestion that there might have been something wrong. Normally if there's even a hint of something untoward, it will be mentioned either by the interviewer or the interviewee.

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