February 21, 2016

Video Training: Illegal Use of Arms (PSG-CHE & BAY-DAR) - 2 Clips

During the last week, two situations where arms and specially elbows were used illegally by players caught my attention. As both referees unfortunately did not choose the adequate level of punishment, it might be important to brighten and sharpen your awareness for this type of infringement as well. 

Please watch the following clip.

Be reminded on the classification of illegally used arms:

1. 'Careless' means that the player has shown a lack of attention or consideration when making his challenge or that he acted without precaution. In the case of carelessly used arms in a duel, there is no further disciplinary sanction needed - a verbal warning might be given of course.

2. 'Reckless' means that the player has acted with complete disregard of the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent. He must be cautioned. Players, who deploy their arm or elbow as a tool, are considered to have acted in a reckless manner and must receive a yellow card.

3. 'Using excessive force' means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent. In such a case, the player has to be sent off with a red card. Players, who deploy their arm or elbow as a weapon, are considered to have used excessive force and must be sent off with a red card.

In Situation 1, Eden Hazard (White #10) and Marco Verratti (Blue #6) both jump for an aerial duel for the ball with relatively equal chances to reach it (#10 is a bit higher though).
White #10 clearly carts out his left forearm and elbow, which are not in a natural position typical of a jump, and makes unfair contact with #6's head or facial area. He thus acts with complete disregard of the danger to and consequences for his opponent and uses his arm as a tool. Therefore, #10 must be cautioned with a yellow card.

Something noone wants to see: Illegally used arms often lead to injuries

In Situation 2, there are actually two elbow offences in a row: Rafinha (Red #13) tries to shield the ball which is high in the air. His opponent, Blue #14, fairly uses his body and physical advantage to get into a promising position to get the ball first. As kind of frustrated reaction, #13 first rams his right elbow into Blue #14's chest with relatively high force and a targeted lunging movement. This should or at least could already be deemed as excessive force clearly endangering the safety of the opponent. The action is visually blocked for the referee (maybe the first assistant referee could have spotted it, however it is not really close to him and not in his clear area of responsibility).
The second offence is visible for the referee though: #13 uses his right arm as a weapon, again making a clear hitting movement and using excessive force. #14 is hit in his face / head so that his safety is clearly endangered. #13 has to be sent off with a red card.

Both situations could have been anticipated better: In both cases, two players were fighting for a high ball going into an aeriel duel. In such cases, your alarming bells should ring and you should draw special attention to the players' arm movements and positions. 

More on this topic:
Referee Education: Illegal Use of Arms


  1. OT: Felix Zwayer suspended Leverkusen-Dortmund today for 9 minutes.
    He wanted to send Leverkusen coach to the stands (for dissent) via captain Kießling, who spoke to his coach an then returned to Zwayer to tell him, Schmidt refuses to go. With little hesitation, the referee and his team walked into the cabin. When they returned, Schmidt had left the pitch and the coaching area and the match could continue.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2dtBn9f9vE (maybe there will be better material later)

    1. Sorry, but how the referee may send someone off via someone and then take such action because the person sent off doesn't believe in this? Weak.

    2. Are there specific instructions by DFB for such situation?
      Here in Italy when a coach / team official doesn't want to leave the pitch, referee has to inform the captain of the team asking for cooperation. In case of deny by the player, the latter must be sent off, too. In case of persistent disobedience by the coach or team official, the match must be officially suspended, without any chance to resume it.

    3. Well, the instrutions say, that the referee should communicate with the coach via the team captain in general. However, in practice, referee and coach often speak directly. Here Zwayer decided to use the formal way, probably to avoid further discussions. BTW, he first sent him off from distance, Schmidt reacted with a "come here" gesture, then Zwayer talked to Kießling.
      If the captain denies to speak to his coach, he has to be punished (I think only with yellow, but not sure). This was not the case here. Kießlig spoke to Schmidt, who still refused to go.
      In that case, one should set a time limit and threaten to abandon the match. The suspension was sensible and legitimate here, I think, because it shows everyone: If he still does not leave, the match is over. And it gives the chance for all involved to talk and try to resolve the trouble.

    4. Still not happy with that. The only option to send anyone off in normal circumstances should be facing him and informing him that he is sent off. The next step should be calling the security so the game may be restarted as soon as possible. The referee should have guts to face a coach he is sending off the technical area. In my opinion, everything was poorly played by Zwayer.

    5. Here is better video material (+discussion over the scene)
      Unilke the commentators say, the protests were not against the free kick itself, but the place of its execution.
      DFB has stated, that the referee's behaviour was correct.
      Many amateur referees praise Zwayer for setting an example.

    6. Perhaps you forgot the link :)

    7. Yes, perhaps...

    8. If you like to discuss that further, I have placed a new post giving my view.

  2. PSV-ATL: Orsato (ITA) - observed by Batta
    DYK-ManCity: Mateu Lahoz (SPA) - observed by Allaerts


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