Case Study: PK Sees Proper Mechanics from Ref Team

Let’s get this out of the way first: In my opinion, this isn’t a foul and therefore not a penalty.

That said, I likely would’ve reached the same conclusion as Mike Dean and crew.  Here’s why:

  • Dean is in perfect position to see this.  Another great example of not being a slave to the diagonal.  Apart from being on a jetpack and hovering 5 feet above the players, I’m not sure you could get a better look.
  • AR2 immediately signals for a foul (and a penalty, with the BPL-specific flag-across-chest signal; in the USA, our mechanic is similar, but at the waist, and with two hands.  Think of the substitution signal but at the waist.)
  • The defender goes to ground with a somewhat desperate attempt to block the cross he believes is coming.
  • The attacker (USA international Jozy Altidore) falls in a way that is clearly not contrived.

This reminds me of the old philosophy riddle: if you went to bed and there was no snow on the ground, woke up the next morning and, while it wasn’t snowing at that time, saw snow on the ground, could you conclude that it had, in fact snowed while you were sleeping?

As referees, we’d love to have incontrovertible proof for every decision, but we know that isn’t realistic.

What is possible, however, is that we can put ourselves in the best possible position and follow all of the training we’ve been given in order to make the best decision possible.

Dean & Co. do just that in this case.


6 responses to “Case Study: PK Sees Proper Mechanics from Ref Team”

  1. I’m not sure how you can say this was not a foul? 1. I do agree that at first glance and the positioning of the crew, this is definitely a foul. 2. But for me, even at the 2nd and 3rd looks at it, I say it is still a foul, all day long. Jozy’s left foot was caught by the Chelsea player as he is sliding, therefore he has fouled Jozy – like the announcer says, he should have never gone to ground, as he is no longer in control of his body, and when he makes contact with Jozy’s foot, he causes Jozy to be tripped. The reason why Altidore looks bad going down was that it looks he was trying to do a stepover when his left foot is knocked out from under him.


    • Art, I’ve watched it dozens of times, and I *think* Altidore steps on the leg of the defender and that causes him to fall. That’s the only reason I think it isn’t a foul.

      But, the real point here is that the Mike Dean puts himself in the best possible position to make the call.


  2. I’d have to say it was a foul because the defender had his leg down and Altidore stepped on it. Had Altidore had more time to react to the defender being in that position I’d be more inclined to wave it off due to clumsiness.

    On Mike Dean, he was moving toward the goal, not on his diagonal. (Notes this for my game tomorrow)

    Also, could be a good teaching example of a DOGSO. Doesn’t fit the criteria in my opinion, direction is away from the goal, and 2 defenders (plus goalkeeper) that could reasonably play the ball.


  3. This is a foul. The defenders’ left leg (underneath) trips the attacker. The attacker did not initiate the contact. Terrific decision by the referee who is in excellent position to make the call.


  4. What I observed by watching the video was the defender go to ground to block the shot. There did not appear to be any contact between the attacker and defender until AFTER the attacker slipped. The attacker slipping did not appear to be caused in any way by *contact* from the defender. Pressure, yes, but contact, no. Also, note that the reason the ball changed hands (OK, feet) was because of a slip…so it’s not hard to imagine that the attacker slipped as well. I don’t see this as a foul. Now, would I have made the same call…probably.


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