July 6, 2014

Video Training: Assessing the Level of Punishment - Serious Foul Play 3 (solved!)


The following match situation is taken from France - Nigeria (World Cup 2014) and belongs to the category Assessing the Level of Punishment.
You are warmly encouraged to participate in discussion by answering the poll or placing a comment. Our solution for this situation including the re-start of play will be published on Tuesday, 08 July.


Interpretation:
White #14 is losing control of the ball and, along with Green #17, is striving to reach the ball. White #14 makes unfair contact with Green #17's talus / ankle bone with studs shown. Given the studs' direction, intensity and speed, he clearly endangers the safety of his opponent. Notice the way #17's ankle is rolling after the intense contact of #14's studs.
White #14 thus used excessive force and brutality and is guilty of serious foul play. The referee has to send him off with a Red Card.

Restart of play: Direct free-kick from the position where the foul occurred.

Laws of the Game, p.126 in short:
"A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play. A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off."

70% of the voters agreed with this interpretation, while 28% opted for a yellow card only.
It is also important to understand why the referee has only issued a yellow card. Undoubtfully, the referee would have chosen the red card if he had savoured the same camera angle that we had at hand. The camera position at 00:07 in the video is optimum.
Referees should always target at having the best viewing angle possible to judge challenges. The referee must guarantee the best position possible to have a sidewise insight into challenges by moving anticipatively on the field of play - this demands praxis and match reading abilities. By looking into duels from the side, he is able to perfectly assess the level of punishment. Specially when two players are fighting to reach the ball that is a a bit away, special attention is needed as this is a typical scenario where serious foul play or reckless challenges can occur. 
In this concrete video example, it is striking that the referee slightly lacked in anticipative movement and, in the moment when the challenge could have already been mentally anticipated as both players started to eagerly move towards the ball, advised an injured player, who had just received medical treatment, to come back onto the field of play. This should be avoided. Making the gesture "come in" did not only hinder the referee to adapt his movement as quickly as possible, but is also a sign that he did not give this tackle his absolutely undivided attention, which would have been required.

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