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Question Number: 33688

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/3/2019

RE: Adult

Sal of Chicago , IL USA asks...

The other day while CR an adult game and with the game becoming physical, an attacker has a promising attack, a defender slide tackles with outstretched legs and feet about one foot off the ground and using excessive force, however, the slide tackle is done about 4 feet from attacker and I felt it was done more as an intimidating move than seeking contact. I let play continue, since the attacker was unfazed by the move, but verbally warned the defender. Could I have handled the situation better? Maybe a foul for attempting to strike and a caution or send off?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Sal,
your match, your decision, your reputation.
Although I can reason why you downgraded, given it apparently had no ill effects, literally or figuratively in the mind set of the players.
Still in your OWN words you decreed it as an excessive force tackle???
Locked legs! shin high! Were the cleats showing ?
The attacker jumped over or around? Was the tackle timed to be so far away it POSED no danger?
Perhaps the player was unfazed or just unaware or even lucky?

If it was a foul, you could indicate advantage play on and caution show the yellow card at the next stoppage if the foul met the reckless criteria.
Red card send off if SFP or VC .
Without seeing it hard to say if it could be or needed to be handled better or differently.
You spoke to the player about your concern and there was no squawking from either side? perhaps you were spot on?

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Sal,
I think you could definitely go with a caution here. The Rooney challenge that ref McHugh cites, is a good example of how a caution can be well-deserved even though there was no physical contact involved. I think a designation of use of excessive force and a red card would be a bit of a stretch, however.

Depending on the overall temperature of the game, you might also be able to get away with just a warning but the way you describe it, I think I'd be tending towards the middle ground of a caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sal
Your description remind me of the foul in this video by Wayne Rooney
The Portsmouth opponent is unfazed by the challenge and the referee Mr Martin Aitkinson could have allowed play to continue yet he chose to award the free kick and caution for a reckless challenge.
As to handling your situation any better that is difficult to say. You chose an option that was your decision at the time and that is fine. You could have cautioned instead of the words or you could have gone with the foul and caution. You mention that the game was becoming physical which for me is a call to action by the referee.
The test is what effect if any the decision had on the game in that did the defender repeat any intimidating move and did other players show aggression from that point on. In games these instances can be a *Moment of Truth* that effect the game.
A few seasons ago I was involved in a game with no cards in 85/86 minutes and then there was a rash challenge. I decided not to go with a caution based on no cards to that point and I just had a word. It was a mistake as the last 8 minutes had all sorts involving a number of cautions. I firmly believe had I cautioned sternly that would have been the end of it. Instead the fact I did not take action started retributions, unpleasantness that perhaps players thought that no action would be taken Thankfully there was only a few minutes left yet it showed me the importance of taking the proper action at all times including late on.

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