Case Study: A Send-Off Early In The First Half

Case Study # 17-2013
Date 20 Apr 2013
Competition Barclays Premier League
Fixture/Result Fulham 0 – 1 Arsenal
Referee/Badge Andre Marriner, FIFA
At Issue The referee sends off a player after only 11 minutes

After only 11 minutes of this London derby, Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell committed a studs-up tackle on Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta.  Referee Andre Marriner did not hesitate to produce a red card, despite the early time of the match (though he started to show the card to Sidwell while the player was still on the ground, a mechanical no-no).

We often hear talk about how we should strive to “keep our cards in our pocket” in an attempt to manage a game effectively.  While that is true, we must also keep in mind that there are certain instances of misconduct where referees are given no discretion.  These scenarios are known as “100% Misconduct” offenses.  Guidance from FIFA and our federations dictate what a referee must do in these situations.

Referee Marriner was faced with a 100% Misconduct offense in this situation.  Sidwell’s tackle is clearly executed with a level of aggressiveness that endangers the safety of an opponent.  That being the case, the guidance we have received from USSF mandates a send-off.

It takes courage and conviction to administer a send-off early in a match; we must be mentally prepared to do so when necessary.


3 responses to “Case Study: A Send-Off Early In The First Half”

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