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How did Kane not get sent off? What should happen to the referee?

By Tony Attwood

There is a twitter feed circulating which asks “How did Kane not get a yellow for this on Gabriel?”  In case you have missed this I have reproduced it below. 

But before we get to the question of “How did Kane not get even a yellow card for his assault on Gabriel?” I want to say that I don’t think that is a yellow card offence. 

Rather I see it as a red.  Here’s why.  This is what the rules say:

Law 12 of the Laws of the Game lists the categories of misconduct for which a player may be sent off. These are outlined below, and remember this is a list of activities that ought to result in a red guide and an immediate dismissal from the pitch.

  1. Serious foul play
  2. Violent conduct
  3. Spitting at an opponent or any other person
  4. Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with a handball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area)
  5. Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with a deliberate foul (with no attempt to play the ball)
  6. Using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
  7. Receiving a second caution in the same match

So we can get rid of a number of those and come down to the possible categories…  But first let’s have a look at the incident…

This is what the rules say

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Law 12 of the Laws of the Game lists the categories of misconduct for which a player may be sent off. These are:

  1. Serious foul play
  2. Violent conduct
  3. Spitting at an opponent or any other person
  4. Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with a handball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area)
  5. Denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with a deliberate foul (with no attempt to play the ball)
  6. Using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
  7. Receiving a second caution in the same match

So we can get rid of a number of those and come down to the possible categories…

  1. Serious foul play
  2. Violent conduct

Serious foul play is a foul committed using “excessive force in the sense that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.”

Do we see that force that has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is a danger of injuring his opponent?

Yes we do because the assailant in this case does not have his eyes on the ball and leads with this shoulder.  If he just wanted to move Gabriel out of the way he would have pushed.

Is there a danger of injuring the opponent?  Yes of course there is – a shoulder charge into the face is exactly that.  A real danger to the party on the receiving end.

But supposing that for some reason the referee did not see serious foul play, what about violent conduct?   That is defined as…

“Violent conduct is distinct from serious foul play in that it may be committed by any player, substitute, or substituted player against any person, e.g., teammates, match officials, or spectators.”

Running up to a person and using your shoulder into the face of another is clearly, by any normal definition violent conduct.  And yet the referee again did not give it.

Which raises the question, what should happen to the referee who has made such a gross error of judgement, and at the same time put the physical well-being of a player at serious risk of serious injury?

Mr Oliver is a member of what is know as the Select Group of Referees in England.

The Select Group was established in 2001, when referees in England became professional. Select Group 1 referees primarily officiate in the Premier League, but can be appointed to any game in the English Football League. The group currently consists of 19 referees and 35 assistant referees.

They appear to be above criticism and indeed above the law.  Failure to do their job does not result in any form of enquiry.

Mr Oliver received his Fifa badge in 2012, allowing him to officiate in major international matches. I am not sure what major international tournaments he has been let lose on, but I know he took charge of the final of the 2015 Fifa under 17 World Cup.

He was then promoted to the Uefa Elite Group of Referees in 2018.

Now I think Jose Mourinho knew exactly how lucky he was to keep his player on the pitch, because in his interview he claimed he is always ‘unlucky’ with this referee referee and then started talking about the Arsenal penalty.  

It is a typical Mourinho ploy – to distract from an issue and talk about something else.

Sadly he knows he has the media with him, licking up his every word and not challenging him.

We could have had a man out for months on end with a challenge such as that – indeed there could have been serious brain damage.  Manager, player and referee should all be out of the game for a long time, but instead… nothing.

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22 comments to How did Kane not get sent off? What should happen to the referee?

  • jjgsol

    But Kane is the England caption so he can do what he likes. Was that not the same with Shearer?

  • genorm

    A definite straight red, but England’s captain is always protected. Another of his tricks that goes unpunished, is him backing into a defender causing them to tip over, but then claiming a foul. It is a dangerous play that will result in a bad injury, but not to him.

  • Jax

    Firstly Oliver should get thousand nectar points for awarding us the very fortunate penalty and then get the regular one weeks demotion to a lower league game. Obviously Kane should have got the red and is it stil possible that he might?

  • Steve Vallins

    VAR is supposed to be used if a clear mistake has been made by the officials , is the challenge by Kane on Gabriel something that VAR should get involved in ? IMO yes it should .
    When Xhaka was sent off against Burnley earlier in the year did the referee see the offence or was it brought to his attention by VAR ?
    The conspiracy theory in me is that it’s Arsenal on the receiving end , no problem , but if we go back to when Nkeitah playing against Leicester last season he received a yellow card for a challenge but VAR thought it was worth a red card , the referee is advised to look at the pitch side monitor , end result Nkeitah is red carded because VAR thought the referee made a mistake .
    So move forward to yesterday , the referee doesn’t see the Kane challenge on Gabriel because he’s following the ball and VAR must have seen it because we all did , but then VAR didn’t think it was a bad challenge because they didn’t advise the referee . Something must be wrong if a referee seeing that challenge doesn’t do anything , where do we go from here .

  • Dominic Cassidy

    Spot on.
    Even Southgate is asking refs to administer the laws properly as he feels English players think they can get away with this kind of behaviour in international tournaments

  • Dublin Gooner.

    Kane probably would have got a card if the ball went dead. IMO.
    I think we’d all be pretty cheesed off if an Arsenal player got a red for what Kane did. Can anyone point to a similar barge ever getting a straight red?

  • Mikey

    To put this into context. What Kane did is a red card offence in Rugby Union because of the potential of causing serious injury. When a player can get sent off merely for raising a hand to another player in football, it would appear that the offence is beyond question. We also know of players receiving retrospective red cards for such offences but I’m sure they’ll now hide behind the idea that VAR saw it so we can’t overturn the decision!

    It is a clear case of double standards.

  • allezkev

    Hmm, yellow card for me, I thought that Oliver was very fair to us and that in general he usually is.

  • Dublin Gooner

    If Gabriel had stayed down and feigned a serious shoulder injury, VAR would have been forced to look at it ( As would the tv commentators, who VAR are probably listening to it).

  • Nitram

    If that had been Xhaka on Kane it would of been drawn to the referees attention, of that I have no doubt. And if by some chance they had missed it on the day you can bet your bottom dollar SKY would of been all over it today making sure it was retrospectively dealt with, or at the very least ensuring the World and his dog, oh and the referees, were fully aware of what Arsenal got away with.

  • Nitram

    allezkev

    I don’t know why you think that challenge is only a yellow, but hey that’s up to you.

    As for Oliver, I agree that by and large he is one of the better referees we get but it comes to something when it stands out simply because “Oliver was very fair to us and that in general he usually is”.

    Shouldn’t the minimum we could expect from every referee be that ‘they are fair to us’, or is that too much to ask?

  • Nitram

    Just read Dermot Gallaghers assessment of the incidents in our match. What a crock of ****

    You know they know they are on dodgy ground when they start the piece with this ridiculous description of the challenge on Lacazette:

    INCIDENT: Alexandre Lacazette hits an air shot in the Tottenham penalty area. Davinson Sanchez slides in on the forward, at which point he goes down.

    SLIDES IN THE THE FORWARD

    WTF. His foot was above waste height with his studs showing. How can that be described as “he SLIDES across”.

    Gallagher then says:

    “The problem is Michael Oliver is behind the play. He sees Sanchez come across with his boot high, I don’t think he sees the air shot”

    So he concedes it’s a ‘high boot’, that’s a foul in itself.

    Then he says Oliver didn’t see the ‘air shot’. So what? Air shot, miss hit, clean connection. All completely irrelevant as to whether he was fouled or not.

    If the challenge was so bad as to of broken Lacas leg would the fact Laca miss hit the shot of meant it wasn’t a foul? Of course not because it is completely irrelevant.

    Honestly the lengths these guys go to, changing the rules, re writing what actually happened, simply to turn this on us is unbelievable.

  • John L

    Kane assault was violent, dangerous and also cowardly. There is no doubt that he intended to cause harm to Gabriel, as he clearly raised his elbow as he approached, also at an angle which showed that he had no hope or intention of winning the ball.

    He is a disgrace and a cheat. In a fair system this would be clear justification for a retrospective red card and a lengthy ban.

    If FA had any scruples he would also be relieved of the England captaincy.

    By the way, he played sh… e.

  • Nitram

    John L

    This is Gallaghers analysis of the Kane :

    DERMOT’S VERDICT: Yellow card.

    DERMOT SAYS: “I think it’s aggressive, I don’t think it’s dangerous or endangering Gabriel’s safety, a yellow card would sit about right but it’s definitely not a red card.

    –So his assessment of that assault is that it wasn’t dangerous. The mans a joke.

    “If someone got a red card for that, we’d be making more of a story about it than we are now.”

    So the fact he and SKY are not making more of it is part of the reason it’s not a red card, because they’re not making more of it !! You simply couldn’t make this s*** up.

  • LeMmy the Gunner

    I noticed Oliver’s little braille notebook

  • allezkev

    Nitram, you asked the question regarding the card, well in real time to me it looked a yellow, slow it down and it looks worse, but I judged it in real time.

    In big games for me when Arsenal are involved Oliver gives those brave decisions that I’ve seen other referees duck out of, like sending off Di Maria at OT.

    I

  • Nitram

    allezkev

    I was with you regarding Oliver. I have always held him in high (or at least higher than the others which isn’t saying much to be fair) regard, but I did think he was very lenient regarding some of Spurs challenges on Sunday.

    Also believe the penalty he gave, correctly in my opinion, wouldn’t of been given by many others, and if they did give it they would of not been so adamant about it and would of overturned it on the behest of VAR, so in that respect he’s still better than most.

    Whatever we think Tony’s stats in the next article suggest that perhaps we’re both wrong because he comes out worst of the lot, which as I say, comes as a massive surprise to me, and you I would guess.

  • Menace

    Nitram – agreed with your last post entirely. What i’m surprised about is the kick flicks to Xhaka and David Luiz that were commented on by Alan Smith and not picked up by VAR. Both red card incidents as much as the previous reds that Xhaka got for feeling the pulse of his opponents throat!
    I have complained to the beeb for the bias showmn by MOTD not picking up these red card events and praising the Rabona of a Red card offender.

  • Nitram

    Menace

    And I bet you hear nothing.

  • allezkev

    Nitram, yeah, I do agree that Oliver maybe let a few fouls go, but I’ve seen some shockers this season from the officials and he’s definitely one of our better referees.

    Let me put it this way, when he’s doing the middle I don’t feel as if we’re going to get stitched up as I do with a lot of the others.
    Good points though..

  • Nitram

    allezkev

    Yep despite what the statistics suggest I too would take Oliver above all the others in a heartbeat.

    Not sure why given the stats, but there you go.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think it deserves a red card. No intent to play the ball , And long after the ball is gone. It was common assault , no less. Criminal intent.

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