|Case Study #||2-2012|
|Match Date||6 August 2012|
|Competition||2012 Olympic Women’s Football Semi-Final|
|Fixture/Result||CAN 3 – 4 USA|
|Referee/Badge||Christiana Pedersen, FIFA|
|At Issue||Pedersen’s decision to penalize the Canada GK for violating the “six-second rule” causes a media furor|
|Originally Published||7 August 2012|
|Remastered||4 July 2013|
Ed. Note: “Remastered” is an occasional series where we take a fresh look at a particularly noteworthy refereeing decision. The original post is preserved and can be found here.
A six-second violation decision by Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen against the Canada goalkeeper touched off quite a storm of media and social media furor. To this day, the original post about this decision remains the single most viewed item on iTOOTR (we had a stats glitch a few months ago, so it doesn’t appear on our homepage sidebar).
The decision was crucial because on the ensuing IFK, a Canada defender handled the ball the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick for the USA, which was successfully converted.
The ensuing media storm centered around the idea that this type of call is rarely made and then only after warning the goalkeeper. The assertion by the Canada GK (and others) was that the referee had not “officially” warned her about putting the ball back into play, apart from what the GK considered an “unofficial warning” at halftime.
I decided to write about this at the time because I was convinced that a FIFA referee wouldn’t make such a basic error. I researched this not as a USA supporter, but as a referee who was dismayed by all of the criticism directed at Referee Pedersen. I went looking for facts to support (or refute) the claims, looking for the following:
- Does the goalkeeper take too much time getting the ball back into play? If so, how often?
- Does the referee warn the goalkeeper to put the ball back into play more quickly?
- Does the goalkeeper acknowledge those warnings and adapt her play accordingly?
As the CAN goalkeeper acknowledged that one member of the referee crew spoke to her at halftime about keeping the game moving, we should be able to answer the second and first part of the third questions in the affirmative. That’s before we even review the match footage.
In the original case study, I simply presented freeze frames of a couple of key incidents. For “Remastered” I now present the video clips of each of five separate incidents, including one (#1) that I missed the first time. (Many apologies for the quality of the video; a low-res version was the only copy I saved, and FIFA doesn’t permit embeds of their YouTube content on other sites).
My answers to the five questions above:
- Yes, at least 5 times.
- Yes, at least 3 times, including the halftime warning.
- a. Yes b. No
Do you have a different opinion? Could the referee have done anything differently in handling this?