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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35600

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/25/2024

RE: Select Under 16

Danny S of Dallas, Texas USA asks...

Greetings, Ask The Ref. I'm prompted to write in based on the incident that just occurred early in the 2nd half of the Canada-Peru match. In the 55th minute, a Peru player took a touch on a quarter turn, then swung thru a ball that an onrushing Canadian defender was trying to make a 50/50. The Peru play slipped and his follow-thru went a little wild such that on his follow-through, his studs landed somewhat hard on the Canadian player's shin of an outstretched leg. The Canadian team erupted in protest, and after a VAR review, the referee upgrade the yellow card to a red. This is not the first time I have seen a player given a red for a studs-to-leg follow-through this season but I must admit that I am bothered by the decision in that the Canadian player did not possess the ball and then put himself in range of the follow through on a ball he didn't get to. I'm guessing the reality of the law is that the cleat-to-leg contact with some force makes this Serious Foul Play no matter which player is in possession but wanted to learn more about any nuances. Thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Danny
a game changer decision to be down a player .
I really like your thinking though I disagree it plays a role in this case !!
SFP is a challenge done with excessive force. VC is an action not related to a true challenge just any violent action so deemed by the referee!

Did the Canadian player create the situation more so than the opposition's actions to begin with were ALWAYS going to be seen as an unsafe dangerous challenge?
The answer is?
Not really!
The Canadian player in no real way endangered himself or the opponent whereas the opponent's stiff leg, studs showing, 2 footed challenge, at speed in a jumping sliding action which had no control, resulted in an impact on the shin which could have broken the leg.

If you noted the reaction of Canadian players were very upset.
Obviously given the referee saw the incident as cautionable reckless it was the VAR and TV replay convinced him to rescind the yellow and go direct red card and send off.
His match! His decision! His reputation! His nuances per say guided his FINAL decision the stud showing act was an excessive mistake! I thought that in real time the AR and the CR should be able to ascertain it as a direct red not a caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Danny
Stone wall red card for me. Player have to be mindful in all situations not to endanger the safety of an opponent. Slipping, possession of the ball, opponent movement are not a defence for any playing offence.

In my opinion the Peru player used excessive force endangering the safety of an opponent in the challenge for the ball which is serious foul play. I suspect the referee did not see the contact high up on the shin and VAR would have seen it clearly which is why the referee was advised to review it.
The Canadian players did not like the manner of the challenge which they reacted in the manner they did. The referee did not heed the appeals for strong sanction as he went with a caution.
If you read your post again there are key red flag words in it such as wild, studs landed somewhat hard on the shin which are typical of SFP.
Players are entitled to be close to the ball and opponents have to take account of movements.

Have a look at this video
And another which may be geo blocked
Watch from 3.00 onwards
It is the exact same type of challenge and one can hear the explanation given as to why it was a red card. The referee also missed it in real time and he needed a VAR review to make the decision.
Even in the post match interview the Spurs manager of the dismissed player said his player went too far in the challenge.

Having played the game at a decent high level I know that this type of challenge is an intimidating reckless challenge. The player flies in with no regard for an opponent and that is the most likely way that a leg gets broken. Straight leg, weight behind the boot, studs showing, contact high up on the shin, limited control as the second foot has to leave the ground. I see these from time to time without the contact on the follow through and I shudder with relieve when no contact is made.

From experience I know that this type of challenge is in some players make up and it is a take all strong very aggressive challenge with no regard for the consequences. Sort of I’m not getting hurt and I dont care if the opponent gets hurt message. Being close to these sends out an intimidating signal to opponents not to put themselves in harms way.
The game has to eliminate this type of challenge and red cards is the only way to achieve.

The only criticism I would have is that these two senior referees should be getting this type of challenge in real time although there may be an element of using VAR as a crutch to be absolutely certain. I would rather it was the other way of red first and then getting downgraded to a Yellow but they dont like to do that. Its an easier sell in the post match review that they did not see the contact hence the caution.

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