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Question Number: 34963

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/1/2023

RE: Adult

Antonis of Athens, Greece asks...

Hi all,
I really appreciate the time you invest in answering all questions in great detail and the educational character of your answers. I really learn a lot!

This is a bit 'old' news, but I wonder if you can look at the two penalties in the video below from Panathinaikos-AEK on September 9, 2022. (I searched in history but could not find reference to this game.).

The first penalty is at 2.15 of the video and the question is whether there is a foul against the defender before the penalty.

The second penalty is at 3.15 and the question is whether it is an offense (this seems clear to me) and whether it is in the penalty area, i.e., is it a penalty?

Grateful thanks in advance!
Antonis (fan of AEK for the record, but more interested in learning because this will not happen by listening to Greek media...)

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Antonis
Thanks for the question and the video
Always good to get opinions on incidents and for referees to learn from these
On the first one I cannot really see a foul on the Yellow defender before the header. If there was a push it was certainly not in a manner that any defender should not be able to deal with.
I am not sure what the Yellow defender was doing as if he was reacting to a push by raising his arms above his head it was almost instant. Perhaps arm raising has become so common place that it is a reflex instant reaction and if that was the case it was foolish.
It was certainly deliberate handling and a caution as a player cannot have his hands above his head and not expect for handling to be called when it stops the ball.

On the second one to me the defender uses his arm to push the attacker and it looks like it happened over the penalty area line in which case it is a penalty kick.
In real time the officials here would be miked up and the referee would be perhaps relying on the assistant referee to confirm location of the offence that is inside or outside the penalty area.
With VAR it would be examined in more detail and if it was inside the penalty area it would be confirmed as a correct call.

So for me both calls were correct and I would have no difficulty with either decision as a referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Antonis,
thanks for the positive feedback.
All of us here appreciate the fact that our fellow colleagues from around the world find it useful or beneficial in their understanding and love of the beautiful game sending us questions and queries !

Just like any referee anywhere on the pitch, acting as armchair overseers, we do not always see it perfectly and nor do we always get it right but we do try to.
We are aware of the biases of video watching and how it differs from real time on field calls made in a split second, from one angle of view, based on your field location.
Yet we can make approximations and decent analytical observations if the video images and pictures reviewed are full of clarity.

I watched the incidents, & agree with my colleague Ref McHugh 100%, both calls spot on!

(1) the hands up above the head: Just a real bad decision by the defending player!
If he was upset at the minimalist contact of the separation moment with a hey ref attention exclamation of raised arms. It is apparent the ball rebounded off the attacker and into the raised arm . The fact he did not intend to have it hit his arm does not change the fact he deliberately raised those arms away from his body. He created the foul by deliberately raising arms in what is effectively a non playable position.
(2) Clear push, clear foul: Location defined by the point of contact that caused the fall
VAR could help but my first thought was inside the PA. I suspect the AR and CR called it as such, then a silent signal by VAR all was good!

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