April 12, 2014

Ángel Di María Missed Penalty By Infringing Law 14

Last Tuesday's UEFA Champions League second leg between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid gave further and ample device that you should never give up after a clear loss suffered in the first leg as a team. Having been down 0:3 in Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, last year's Wembley finalists almost managed to draw level with the Madrilenians. Hence, the match was highly challenging but very well handled by Slovenian Damir Skomina and his team who awarded a totally justified penalty in favour of Real Madrid in the early stages of the game (deliberate handball). But they missed something quite peculiar in this process.

As you can see, Real Madrid player Ángel di María failed to convert this penalty into a goal by slipping on the wet ground and meeting his match in goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller. What the replay also unbosoms is that the Argentinian attacker deflected his own left-foot shot with his right forward section of foot. And this case is clearly defined in Law 14:

"If, after the penalty kick has been taken, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched another player, an indirect free-kick is awarded to the opposing team and the kick is to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred." 

For this reason, Damir Skomina should have stopped play and awarded an indirect free-kick to Borussia Dortmund. Overall he can be quite lucky that di María did not score from the penalty spot although one may raise doubts whether anybody had protested. Naturally these words should not be understood as anatomical seeming dissection of this incident, neither should it blame the referee and his assistants for not detecting it. On the field of play, this is (almost) impossible to detect, also keeping in mind that the assistant referee has to focus on the 2nd last defender line, the additional assistant referee on the goal-line and the referee on the penalty kick taker and the forward movement of the ball. And surely, considering the spirit of the match at the highest level of (commercialized) football, such Laws of the Game tend to play no role - for some good reasons. But technically considered, this situation has certainly been quite odd.


  1. A similar situation occurred in the 2012/13 Group Stage game between Braga and Manchester United. Wayne Rooney scored a penalty. However, both feet made contact with the ball before it nestled in the corner of the net. Felix Brych was in charge that night if I recollect correctly.

    Try this link (2':35):


    1. Anonymous12/4/14 23:30

      If you analise this, analise also place of infridgement in the middle of the field.

    2. Anonymous12/4/14 23:32

      Dont follow the rules so strict

    3. Did I propose to do so?
      What place of infringement in the midfield?

  2. Anonymous13/4/14 15:30

    Good work by World Cup 2014 (reserve) referee Norbert Hauata of Tahiti during the OFC champions league playoff tournament.

    1. Anonymous13/4/14 15:31

      Another red card with an even worse challenge from the same team.

  3. OT: Some (re)views of Clatenburg perfomance yesterday at LIV-MNC? Perhaps one missed penalty kick for handball (very difficult to see, AAR would help), and missed 2nd YC for Suares dive?

    1. Thought he handled a highly significant and extremely challenging game very well indeed. However, he got a few of the big decisions wrong IMO. In 33': missed penalty in favour of the visitors as LIV #17 clumsily brings down MNC #10. Then in 53': LIV #7 commits one of the worst dives I've seen in my live - surely a second bookakble offence? Clatts unmoved. Finally in 94': LIV #37 handles in the penalty area. However, it was very difficult to see the offence amongst the cluster of players.
      In saying that, Clatts got the rest of the big decisions right. Correctly waved away penalty appeals in 61' - 67' & 73'. Excellent fitness, endurance and positioning for these situations (especially for 61') . Finally, he correctly dismissed LIV #14 for SFP in 90' +4.
      As always, Darren Cann was very good, and Gary Beswick had a decent outing as well.

    2. Anonymous14/4/14 13:01

      Agree. However, the overall performance was very successful, and the mistakes that happened were extremely difficult to avoid. Clattenburg was not sure if there was a contact, which would justify the fall of Suarez, and handball of Skrtel looked like a header by one of the City's players. Apart from that, some correctly rejected penalty appeals, impressive sprints and fitness and good decision-making. Bad luck with those two incidents.

      / Rauf

    3. Anonymous14/4/14 17:11

      The classic question: do we want referees who do well in normal, easy situations but miss important decisions or referees who get the important decisions right but overlook minor things?

  4. Anonymous14/4/14 21:35

    Any opinions regading Zwayer in Bayern - Borussia?

    1. Not really consistent in his foul detection, but without big mistakes. Control was no problem, the red card for Rafinha correct (violent conduct, 3 matches ban).
      Overall expected level.

  5. Anonymous15/4/14 12:20

    Off topic:
    Bas Nijhuis has been appointed to handle the Dutch FA Cup final between PEC Zwolle and AFC Ajax Amsterdam. He will be assisted by his regular assistants Rob van de Ven and Charl Schaap. Berry Simons as 4th official while Jochem Kamphuis and Ed Janssen will be the AAR's.

    All the best to them!

  6. Anonymous16/4/14 08:47

    What about the retaking of the PK since players from both sides enter the penalty area before the ball is kicked.

  7. Are the UEFA referee observers for next week's CL and EL matches already known?

  8. Off topic:

    Surprising appointment for this season's FA Cup Final, IMO. Lee Probert has been given the honour. Really thought it was Clatts' year...

    Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire FA)
    Assistant Referees: Jake Collin (Liverpool FA), Mick McDonough (Northumberland FA)
    Fourth Official Kevin Friend (Leicestershire & Rutland FA)
    Reserve AR: Simon Bennett (Staffordshire FA).

  9. Anonymous16/4/14 20:00

    Off topic. YC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm91sIFAdAs

  10. Anonymous16/4/14 23:27

    Off topic.
    Copa del Rey final, top class no flag by Pau Cebrián Devís (0-1 Di María)

  11. Anonymous18/4/14 07:31

    Coupe de la Ligue - FINAL

    19 April 2014, 21:00
    Stéphane Lannoy - Frédéric Cano, Michaël Annonier - Éric Dansault - Nicolas Rainville, Olivier Thual

    1. We have a new section in the blog, I hope you have noticed that:
      about domestic appointments, it is always updated.


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