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Question Number: 33777

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/15/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Wondering why the own goal in the England v Moldavia stood?

With (what replays in slow motion on the couch indicate) a handling by England in the immediate lead up the goal, surely this fits within the intension of the new handing ruling (creates a goal scoring opportunity).

OK, so the 'create' is a bit stretched, is that why it stood ?
To quote the LOTG...

It is an offence if a player:
¢gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then: ... ¢creates a goal-scoring opportunity.
Except for the above offences, it is not usually an offence... ...if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger.

Did he deliberately use his arm to make contact with the ball (or himself bigger) - doubtful.
Did it fall to himself and create a goal scoring opportunity " no, however, it did fall to a team mate (which one would think is in the 'intension' of the ruling).

Maybe the 'opportunity' was squandered (not on target), yet, still, it ended in the net due to a coincidence that an opposing player un expectantly directed it into the net - does thats make it OK ?

Is this another incident the law makers had not envisaged?

Or, am I just not 'getting it' as yet with regard to all this newer handling rulings.
Four months until our 'park footy' starts with the latest LOTG updates coming into play, so a bit of time to go, but I guess I still need help on the nuances.


Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
If the referee, in real time, had spotted what you apparently did then perhaps he could have had a decision to make on whether to disallow this goal. However since, as you say, you only spotted it on slow motion replays, I suspect that he didn't see anything untoward and since there was no VAR, there could be no review.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
For me this was deliberate handling.
The player has raised his arms high up above shoulder height and Law 12 is explicit about this
**touches the ball with their hand/arm when:
# the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger
# the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)
The above offences apply even if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.**
So for me the conditions were clearly met by the raised arms.
Whether the referee could have used the accidental handling part I feel that the spirit of the rule is that it did in fact create a goal scoring opportunity albeit not directly and it was an own goal.
Perhaps the fact that Montenegro did not make any appeal that the referee just let it slide? I don’t know yet if I was the observer here I would be marking the referee down for this as an error.
His only defense would have been that he did not see the handling and there was no VAR in place.

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