By Walter Broeckx
As I am on my normal computer now I will try to give a short view on how it works with offences against goalkeepers which came up in the last Ref’s Review.
So again I start with the laws of the game.
Offences committed against goalkeepers
• It is an offence for a player to prevent a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
• A player must be penalised for playing in a dangerous manner if he kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it
• It is an offence to restrict the movement of the goalkeeper by unfairly impeding him, e.g. at the taking of a corner kick
And now to the incident itself. And if this works we have a novelty in our ref review and who knows maybe more to come in the future (if I don’t bring Tony’s servers down at the Untold headquarters) If you click on the link where it says Song impeding you should see a short video of the incident.
But as talking through the whole incident in such a short time is almost impossible I also took some pictures. And in these pictures I start a bit earlier (you can follow the time at the left side of the pictures). I do this just to show you how great the ref has handled this situation and has done it in a style that really is world class.
- First warn and trying to prevent the situation.
- Then calling the foul.
- And then when players leave the area after the foul has been given when Song is passing by and asking the why, a quick explanation and the words: I warned you, you cannot do this. (These words are based on my interpretation of the body language of Song and the ref)
Van Persie is preparing the corner kick and Song has placed himself in front of the keeper. You can see the ref looking at the keeper and Song checking if there is nothing wrong.
The ref has blown his whistle and you can see the assistant telling Van Persie to wait. The ref is pointing to Song and the keeper and telling him he cannot move and he will call the foul against the keeper.
And then we go in to detail but this is a bit more difficult to see what is really happening.
The keeper spreads his arms and Song is moving in front of the keeper. And it is in this moment that the FIRST foul is done. By moving and jumping around in front of the keeper Song is restricting the movement of the goalkeeper and is unfairly impeding him. Because as Song is jumping and moving in front of the keeper the keeper cannot move without restriction. Next picture please.
And only then the keeper is putting his arms around Song. I think the keeper was trying to make it clear to the ref that when a player is jumping and moving in front of him (in a forbidden way) he cannot put his arms around the ball as there is a man between his arms. Technically you could argue that the keeper is holding Song and that the keeper is making a foul. But this doesn’t matter any more as you should always punish the first foul as a ref and the first foul was made before the keeper embracing Song.
And finally to make things worse for Song he even puts his arms wide open. So even if the ref would have neglected the first foul on the keeper from this moment on Song is really impeding the keeper because the keeper has to run 2 meters around Song to be able to have a free run to the ball.
Now I know that all of us who are used to seeing all kind of attacks on keepers may sit now with eyes wide open and think: is this a foul? And yes this is a foul and this is how it should be dealt with. This is what they have told me and showed me every year, for a couple of years now, and this is what Fifa wanted to stop. And I know that every player has the right to be on the field and to be in any position on the field. But from the moment this position is impeding the goalkeeper you commit a foul. It is that simple. And we also know very well that a player in that position is doing this with the aim to impede the keeper in his movements. Or are we that naive to think that such a player goes over there by accident?
And then when you think of all the attacks on our keepers and all the rubbish that has been thrown at our keepers and all the bad words on how poor they are at corners and that we should buy a new world class keeper. I really think with some more world class English PL referees who do their games according to the rules would be a far better solution. And if I make a final suggestion to how we can stop these rugby tackling on keepers when there is a corner AND FREE KICKS AND LONG THROWS (there is only given an example in the rule book and the other ones can be also called by the ref) just to impede them to claim the ball.
My suggestion is to just give the players who do this a yellow card. And no, I don’t mean that you should book a player when he goes in for the ball to head it and makes a jump from a few meters distance and collides with the keeper but the player who deliberately goes in front of a keeper with the intent to breaking the rules should be booked. It is intentionally done (or instructed to do so from his manager). After that it will stop and we will see more football and less rugby with teams trying to bundle keepers over the line and shove them under the pitch. It’s time to make the rules respected and also this rule.
Thanks Mr. Tagliavento for giving me such a fine and clear example on how it should be. Hello English PL refs out there : Have you seen it?
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