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Question Number: 35387

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/16/2024

RE: Rec Under 19

Jason of Madison, WI USA asks...

82:15 mark of the Brentford-Burnley game (9:14 on this video - This has to be a foul on the keeper right? Is letting the keeper do this only something that is allowed at the very top level? For my part, I take the rulebook completely literally when it says the keeper has no special privileges when not in possession of the ball (paraphrasing). What do you guys think?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
Your video is not viewable outside the US.

The comment that goalkeepers have no special privileges in playing the game other than the use of hands inside the penalty area is indeed correct.
In the PL referees allow a great deal of physical contact in an around the penalty area. There are multiple questionable incidents throughout the highlights. In the disallowed goal the Brentford player jumps into the Burnley goalkeeper making contact which prevents the save.
As the Brentford player does not play the ball a referee could take the pick of charging, jumping at or challenging in a careless manner as committing a foul on the goalkeeper.

Had the attacker got to the ball it probably would not have been a foul yet he was wasn't even close to playing the ball instead making contact with the goalkeeper in his attempt to catch the ball.
I can see no reason why Brentford were protesting the call. It is a foul every day and all day long,

Now as regards the incident you refer to in my opinion it was a foul. The goalkeeper comes through the back of the opponent which is a foul. The referee was poorly positioned much like in the Burnley penalty award and red card so he may have been waiting for VAR to intervene here as well yet play continues in an attacking phase so play gets stopped with the Brentford goal. Had a goal not been scored it would have been interesting to see if a penalty kick would have been awarded using VAR.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Hi Jason,

I agree with you.

I viewed the video. In going for the ball, the keeper tries to go through an attacker to get the ball. He charges into the back of the attacker and knocks the attacker down. The first question I asked was this obstruction by the attacker. I do not think so. The attacker turned to see where the ball was and was immediately hit in the back by the keeper who was trying to get the ball which was far out of reach.

To me this was definitely charging or pushing in a reckless manner and should have been penalized with a penalty kick and caution.

However, if you look at the position of the referee, I do not think he was able to see the contact. There are three players between him and the goalkeeper who are serving as a screen. Also, the contact occurred with the goalkeepers back to the assistant referee who I doubt would have called it anyway since it was on the other side of the goal from the assistant referee.

I believe this was a foul that should be called at all levels.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jason,
I noticed a lot of grabbing, holding and pushing throughout the match .
While we can ignore some fouls, especially if no goal was being thwarted or no real damage but what is acceptable and what can be tolerated versus what can be considered as trifling and doubtful has considerable leeway when it is an opinion on a fact of play.
I saw the keeper just shove a player to the ground! FOUL PK
I saw another attacker leap up and into the keeper preventing the save ! FOUL DFK out
I watched others in bear hug mode literally wrestle one another to the ground. They are FOULS but if they appear to have no impact on play ignoring then seems to be the way they deal with it. You want answers best ask the referee of the match because from the armchair I often shake my head!

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