By Walter Broeckx
I have to come back to the first goal from Chelsea. A lof of things have been said about the Alonso-Bellerin assault that went unpunished by the ref. And a lot of rubbish has been said.
Now before I come to the point of this article I will start with a few things. People who say we only moan because we lost should visit our site a bit more and then they will find out that even when we win we mostly have a lot of things to say about the referee. Winning or losing we analyse him. And we tell it as we have seen it on the images and with the laws of the game in hand.
Laws of the game that can be found here : http://www.fifa.com/mm/Document/FootballDevelopment/Refereeing/02/79/92/44/Laws.of.the.Game.2016.2017_Neutral.pdf
Now at first people said things like: Alonso had no intention to elbow Bellerin so it wasn’t a foul. People who say such things only prove that they have no real knowledge of the laws of the game. The word intentional foul has been scrapped from the laws. Why? Simply because a referee can’t look inside the head of a player and read his mind. Now the word intentional is mentioned a few times in the laws of the game. But not with what we are dealing here.
On page 92 you can find:
If a player, while correctly taking a free kick, intentionally kicks the ball at an opponent in order to play the ball again but not in a careless or reckless manner or using excessive force, the referee allows play to continue.
On page 99 you can find:
If a player, while correctly taking a throw-in, intentionally throws the ball at an opponent in order to play the ball again but neither in a careless nor a reckless manner or using excessive force, the referee allows play to continue.
On page 108 you can find:
If a player, while correctly taking a corner kick, intentionally kicks the ball at an opponent in order to play the ball again but not in a careless or reckless manner or using excessive force, the referee allows play to continue.
On page 164 you can find:
Intentional: A deliberate action (not an accident)
And this refers to the text I have shown on page 92, 99 and 108. So nowhere in the laws of the game it is written that a ref has to judge if a foul has been made with a certain intention. This criteria to judge fouls has been removed. Anyone still quoting it is showing his lack of knowledge.
Let us look at the “he had his eye on the ball” talk. If we check the word eye (as that is vital in this) we find 12 hits in the laws of the game. And all 12 of them refer to eye contact between the officials on the field. Nowhere is there written in the laws of the game that a ref should take notice of the eyes of a player. Simply because a referee can’t look in the eyes of a player when he makes a foul.
Did Alonso only look at the ball? Who says so? Didn’t he see Bellerin? Who proves this? Yes sometimes a player can’t see an opponent when he makes a foul. When a player jumps in from behind this can be seen as a softening circumstance in the punishment. Not in the foul itself but it can be used to determine the card.
But in this case Alonso had Bellerin in front of him. And was Bellerin in his visual field? I’m not a doctor but if I take Wikipedia: “The normal (monocular) human visual field extends to approximately 60 degrees nasally (toward the nose, or inward) from the vertical meridian in each eye, to 107 degrees temporally (away from the nose, or outwards) from the vertical meridian, and approximately 70 degrees above and 80 below the horizontal meridian. ”
then I think he should have been in the visual field of Alonso. Which makes using the elbow worse of course. And the visual field is the field you have without moving the eyes. And nobody can say if Alonso didn’t move his eyes for a split second from the ball. The fact that he came in with an arm raised seems to imply he did know somebody might be there.
But a ref can’t see or judge this. So refs don’t have to judge it at all and people who do this are talking bullshit as they simply cannot know if Alonso “only had eye for the ball” I think we can move our eyes around in multiple directions within split seconds (again I am not a doctor but from own testing just now). The only one who can know it is Alonso. And thus a referee has to make no decision on ‘did he have only eye for the ball”. That can only be used to determine if a red card should be given or a yellow card.
What is then important on judging a foul or not? In this case the fact that one player comes in from a distance with his arm leading towards the head of an opponent. That alone is enough to call a foul as attacking the head of an opponent with the arm or elbow is dangerous. And dangerous play is a foul. Period. No discussion. The fact that Alonso first made contact with the head of Bellerin before heading the ball makes the foul even clearer. For those who want to see. So you can come up with all kinds of pundit talk (pundits who know nothing about the laws of the game by the way) it was a foul.
Now the card. As Bellerin was in front of Alonso that is an aggravating circumstance. This means that Alonzo neglected the caring part of his job. Yes players are responsible and have to take care of the well being of their opponents. Being careless is always a foul. But it is not a yellow card foul. Just another part of why it was a foul.
But then we have to judge if it was reckless. Because a reckless foul is a foul that should be yellow carded. And we can say that jumping with the arm towards the face of an opponent and hitting him is reckless. Because a smack to the head can cause a serious injury. So the least card is a yellow card. In fact that is the least punishment that a ref should always give when an arm is swung against the head of an opponent.
And then we have to come to the was it using excessive force. Because that is something we can judge as a ref with no problems. Even not being a doctor. If you see a bone sticking out of the leg of a fouled player you can safely conclude that the offender used a bit of excessive force. And send him off. If the smacking arm/elbow (the same for the laws of the game) knocks a player unconscious you know that excessive force was used. And then you can only send him off. Keep in mind that Bellerin didn’t roll around on the floor as some other players do. No he fell flat on the floor and just lay there clearly not knowing what hit him (the elbow of Alonso, Hector) and was completely out of this world. And for those who think it wasn’t that bad lets take a look at knocked out Bellerin
So the only conclusion can be: excessive force was used because otherwise he wouldn’t have been knocked out.
Now you can of course debunk this and come up with pundit talk, its no use and not important. The laws of the game and the instructions are what matter. Not what Murphy, Shearer or Henry is saying. Because they are not referees and to tell the truth the knowledge of the laws of the game with players is very low. Frightening low in fact…
PS : a late addition to this article as still people claim that Bellerin used his arms. Look at it, just look at it
Next up a first view at the new U23 team