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Question Number: 33764

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/9/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Jesse from of Wallumbilla, Queensland Australia asks...

During a professional game, the play is in mid field, a ball has been kicked and comes off a players head, and gone straight up into the air, maybe 10-15 m. That player is standing waiting for it to come down.

An opposition player is running to the area from say 7m away, he jumps when he is about 2m away from the stationary player. In the process of jumping he bends his knee and raises it to help get height, all with forward momentum. This opposition player heads the ball, and his knee smacks into the side of the head of the stationary player, who was looking up at the ball. This stationary player may have seen the player coming but not the knee. He collapses to the ground, momentarily stunned.

Result a DFK. I thought had to be SFP. What am I missing?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jesse
Red card SFP EVERYTIME or in my opinion do not referee soccer matches as one clearly does not understand the words safety, excessive & dangerous or Law 5 the duties & responsibilities of the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jesse
The referee had a perfect side on view of this challenge
From what I see here the challenge met the conditions for serious foul play and the player can count himself lucky not to have been dismissed for SFP.
Now there are many factors that could have swayed the referees decision and with VAR there was an opportunity to review those. Certainly the opponents had a very negative view of the contact and while the player played the ball his action endangered the safety of an opponent. He did show concern for the player and perhaps the referee saw him looking at the ball only. While it should not be a factor a players behavior and attitude in games can influence decision making. We know that players with a poor attitude and discipline record get sanctioned more severely if there is doubt. I listened to one previous PL player complaining that if he made a challenge in a game that he was commentating on that resulted in a yellow that he would have been dismissed without question!

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Jesse,
For our readers, this occurred in the 36th minute of the Newcastle-Perth Australian A-League match this weekend.
It's about 1min in for the highlights package (may be geoblocked) -

It's an appalling challenge - not only is this a very clear red card for me but I'd argue it's dangerous enough to warrant additional weeks of suspension.

Sometimes when a red isn't given I can see where there may be some argument for a yellow - I simply can't see any here.

So I'm also completely stumped as to why the VAR didn't intervene here.

Players have a responsibility to challenge safely for the ball - if a player is standing and waiting for the ball to drop, then an opponent can't jump through them to win the ball. But not only did he jump through the opponent, but the leading knee was well out from his body - so in doing so he has clearly acted with excessive force and endangered the safety of the opponent.

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