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Question Number: 33667

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/23/2019

RE: Adult

Pete of Gloucester, Gloucestershire Uk asks...

In Sundays Chelseas Liverpool game the challenge by Adrian on Tammy Abraham. Why was this not a penalty? Full contact by his knees into Abrahams shoulder. If a defender did this challenging for a header it would, in my mind, have been a definite foul & card. Also should VAR have reviewed it? I dont support either side.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Pete ,
do you have a link to a video or image that shows the incident? I did not see it clearly on the review video I watched? The VAR only looks at a blatant oversight. Chances are the referee was looking at this and decided no, Var saw no reason to review. Must have gone to ground too easily and the contact was deemed minimal Sorry, perhaps one of my colleagues watched the match & is aware of the situation you refer to? Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Pete
I believe that looking at other games that there seems to be a policy of not calling possible penalties when it looks like the player has gone to ground easily on contact or the referee has a clear uninterrupted view and it is a judgement call . VAR would have reviewed it as ALL incidents are reviewed.
Was the contact enough to merit a foul or was it a coming together. Obviously the referee thought there was not and VAR no doubt looked at it and agreed with the no call decision.
In the Burnley v Norwich game at the weekend there was also a call involving Barnes of Burnley on what looked like a contact penalty. Again there was contact yet was it enough to have brought down the player? VAR no doubt reviewed that as well and no call was made.
For what it is worth penalties are very big decisions in games. My threshold on penalties is high and I do not go with soft penalty claims particularly when I feel the player is going to ground easily. With the growth of simulation and engineered fouls I think referees are now taking a stronger approach with no calls when there is *light*contact or where there is a coming together caused by both players.
Also on aerial contacts involving players and goalkeepers these tend to be viewed as coming together of players when there is no obvious clear *foul* contact.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Pete,
While I would agree that this was very possibly a foul, not giving it was not such a clear and obvious error that I would say it should have been subject to a VAR review. Remember, the question being asked is not 'was the decision correct?' but 'was the decision clearly and obviously wrong?'

Of course, having said that it is becoming increasingly apparent that in the EPL there is no referee's judgement call that is clearly and obviously wrong enough to be subject to VAR review, no matter how blatant of an error it might be.

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