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Question Number: 33113

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/4/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

'but I got the ball Ref'. Foul recognition.

Another Arsenal match, another set of questions !!

Two studs up challenges. Two different out comes.

At the 5.31 min mark of the highlights, a Tottenham player goes in studs up on a 50/50 ball and collects the keeper in the chest area.

At the 8.39 min similar from an Arsenal player.

The first is yellow, the second red. Why not both red?

The first was from a player who would have surely known the direction to the ball was on a direct front on collision course to the keeper. Not for second do I think there is any intention other they trying to get the ball to score, and the resultant collision an unfortunate ugly by product. Still, studs into chest area !

The second, equally, appears as just to be a committed player trying to getting the ball with no intention to get the player. Still, there are raised studs colliding with a leg, so very difficult to argue. A great example of 'but i got the ball (first)' being a pointless plea.

I get the second, but I struggle with the first.

Is the answer (in part) in the way the recipients of the challenges responded?

Also, talk me through the penalty awarded to Arsenal. Seems very soft.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Context is everything in decision making.
On the first one Rose is stretching for the ball with a boot raised having only come a yard or so to the ball and I believe makes an effort to pull out of serious contact. The Arsenal players do not get animated about the challenge as there did not appear to be any intensity in the play. Referees close to play get an sense of intensity, intent etc. I believe it should have been a caution for a reckless challenge yet on another day perhaps it could have been a red card. Referee Taylor on the day saw it as a coming together with no great seriousness or intensity. VAR may have changed that.
On the second one the moment I saw it I said this is a red card. There is intensity and momentum into the challenge with the studs showing. It certainly endangers the safety of an opponent and the players get highly animated about it including the Arsenal players who try to defend the challenge.
In a recent game I was involved in I had something similar to the Rose challenge on the GK. My first reaction was no card yet I went with a caution due to the way the after unfolded. The manager at half time was of the view that it should have been red yet I did not see it as serious foul play in the same way he did. I told him that his own player added to the challenge and that it was not as serious as he saw it. Perhaps VAR might have changed my mind! I got one go at it, did not see it as SFP and went with a caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
I think this one comes down to the seriousness of the play (or intensity, as ref McHugh puts it). Then there's also the question of endangering the opponent's safety. Once again, it's a referee's judgement call but I agree with idea that the challenge by Rose on the keeper was less intense and less dangerous than the one by Torreira on Rose later in the game. For me, the Torreira challenge was a definite red whereas the Rose challenge was much more debatable - an 'orange' if you like. It certainly comes into the category of 'I've seen them given' but it wasn't as much of a nailed-on red card, to my way of thinking.

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