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WWFC v LFC

SurreyWolves

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
What are people’s opinions on the 2’ penalty incident?

I am (clearly) biased, but I am wondering why VAR didn’t intervene.

Interested to hear other non-biased opinions.
 
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SurreyWolves

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
Also have to add - the head injury was a direct result of the late flag... I recall someone posting something about that risk on here. Horrible to see this.
 

Matthew

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Also have to add - the head injury was a direct result of the late flag... I recall someone posting something about that risk on here. Horrible to see this.
This was an inevitable result of delaying the flag unnecessarily and the writing has been on the wall for months. Hope this isn’t as serious as it looks and Patricio makes a quick recovery.
 

QuaverRef

I used to be indecisive but now i'm not so sure
This was an inevitable result of delaying the flag unnecessarily and the writing has been on the wall for months. Hope this isn’t as serious as it looks and Patricio makes a quick recovery.
Disagree in this instance. Yes that argument is there to be made but even with an instant flag, there’s less than 3 seconds between the pass and the contact. A referee can’t physically get his whistle to his mouth and stop play instantly in that time so that contact was happening regardless
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Disagree in this instance. Yes that argument is there to be made but even with an instant flag, there’s less than 3 seconds between the pass and the contact. A referee can’t physically get his whistle to his mouth and stop play instantly in that time so that contact was happening regardless

But we could try to stop potentially career threatening injuries?
 

QuaverRef

I used to be indecisive but now i'm not so sure
What are people’s opinions on the 2’ penalty incident?

I am (clearly) biased, but I am wondering why VAR didn’t intervene.

Interested to hear other non-biased opinions.
That’s a penalty for me as well. I’m very surprised that wasn’t given
 

Matthew

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Disagree in this instance. Yes that argument is there to be made but even with an instant flag, there’s less than 3 seconds between the pass and the contact. A referee can’t physically get his whistle to his mouth and stop play instantly in that time so that contact was happening regardless
On initial viewing, and having not yet seen a replay, I thought it was a late flag (and it was), but on reflection I’m not sure there was enough time for it to have an impact.

There’s a wider point here though and I think late flags will lead to a serious injury at some point. That’s a debate for another time perhaps.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
The thing with the "VAR late flag" is that you also need to remember that even before that, referees have more and more been instructed not to flag until the player becomes active, which 99% of the time is when they actually touch the ball. So even in a pre-VAR world, the earliest the AR could have flagged is when Salah took his first touch, whereas in the post-VAR world, the correct point to flag is when the ball hits the back of the net.

In both situations, to discuss if a collision could have been avoided, you also have to account for the time Pawson would take to register the signal and blow, plus the reaction time of the defender. Unfortunately, in this particular situation, I don't think there was enough of a gap that even a perfectly timed flag could have made much of a difference.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
But anyway, back to the OP - I do think Wolves were denied a penalty, but I think Liverpool should have had one as well when Mane was clattered and managed to keep his balance. He's clearly taken some of the criticism to heart a little too much, as if he'd gone down there it was a stonewall penalty, but he staggered, stayed on his feet and then the opportunity was gone. It's the classic problem I have when referees complain about players diving - you have to do what you can to avoid incentivising the diving, which means being strong enough to give penalties for fouls even when players do try to stay on their feet.

Agree that it was good to see the much-needed concussion sub brought in, although it reminded me again about how cynical football can be. You have a GK down for over 10 minutes, clearly injured - but because football authorities are so convinced that everyone is trying to cheat all the time, Liverpool have to be offered another sub as well to "balance" it up. The idea that a player might deliberately try and engineer a collision, so that they have the opportunity to go down and then try and con a neutral doctor into thinking they have a concussion just for an additional sub is ridiculous.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
The thing with the "VAR late flag" is that you also need to remember that even before that, referees have more and more been instructed not to flag until the player becomes active, which 99% of the time is when they actually touch the ball. So even in a pre-VAR world, the earliest the AR could have flagged is when Salah took his first touch, whereas in the post-VAR world, the correct point to flag is when the ball hits the back of the net.

In both situations, to discuss if a collision could have been avoided, you also have to account for the time Pawson would take to register the signal and blow, plus the reaction time of the defender. Unfortunately, in this particular situation, I don't think there was enough of a gap that even a perfectly timed flag could have made much of a difference.
That has ways carried a caveat of unless there is potential for a collision just chuck the flag up.
There is also comms to help too, AR shouts Salah off, Pawson can blow the whistle and then AR can flag. It will look simultaneous, no one would know.
I haven't seen this clip soaybe it was truly unavoidable but pre VAR there are extra fail safes in the process.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
That has ways carried a caveat of unless there is potential for a collision just chuck the flag up.
There is also comms to help too, AR shouts Salah off, Pawson can blow the whistle and then AR can flag. It will look simultaneous, no one would know.
I haven't seen this clip soaybe it was truly unavoidable but pre VAR there are extra fail safes in the process.
I'm not saying that I don't see it as a genuine issue with the system, as it clearly is. It's just that this one example isn't the one to use to make the point.

Incidentally, it's also one of the issues my preferred challenge system won't solve - if a striker is onside and incorrectly flagged, that chance would be lost completely in a challenge system. But without instant and fully automatic VAR on offsides, we need to pick a side on this - do we prioritise avoiding collisions and accept some otherwise valid goals may be lost, or do we prioritise making sure we don't rule out a good goal and accept that keepers/defenders may have to put themselves at some risk to make saves they otherwise wouldn't have to? I don't think we're even close to tech that allows us to take both sides on this question.
 
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socal lurker

RefChat Addict
The thing with the "VAR late flag" is that you also need to remember that even before that, referees have more and more been instructed not to flag until the player becomes active, which 99% of the time is when they actually touch the ball. So even in a pre-VAR world, the earliest the AR could have flagged is when Salah took his first touch, whereas in the post-VAR world, the correct point to flag is when the ball hits the back of the net.

I think you are overstating the instruction. Diagram 4 hasn't changed in many years, and explains:

A player in an offside position (A) may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.​

So even without a possible collision, where only an OSP attacker is chasing the ball and is likely to get it, the flag would go up. While the idea of collision avoidance has certainly been taught (at least at lower levels), I don't believe it has ever been in the LOTG or other formal pronouncements from IFAB.

So absent VAR, the proper time for the AR to flag would have been when it was apparent that Salah was the only attacker with a chance to get to the ball.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I think you are overstating the instruction. Diagram 4 hasn't changed in many years, and explains:

A player in an offside position (A) may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.​

So even without a possible collision, where only an OSP attacker is chasing the ball and is likely to get it, the flag would go up. While the idea of collision avoidance has certainly been taught (at least at lower levels), I don't believe it has ever been in the LOTG or other formal pronouncements from IFAB.

So absent VAR, the proper time for the AR to flag would have been when it was apparent that Salah was the only attacker with a chance to get to the ball.
I disagree only with one word in your final sentence - flag when it becomes apparent that Salah is the only player with a chance to get the ball. If a defender gets in and intercepts, or even makes a deliberate play on the ball, the offside is reset. So as an AR, you have to at least wait until it is also clear no defender is going to get involved.

And to go back to my original point - in this case, the time between me being sure only Salah was getting the first touch ahead of the defender and the time he actually does get that first touch is negligibly short, such that they may as well be the same thing. Again - it's not an unfair point in principal, but this isn't the case study to use to push a "VAR is bad" point.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
I disagree only with one word in your final sentence - flag when it becomes apparent that Salah is the only player with a chance to get the ball. If a defender gets in and intercepts, or even makes a deliberate play on the ball, the offside is reset. So as an AR, you have to at least wait until it is also clear no defender is going to get involved.

Nope, that isn't right as the law exert that social lurker posted clearly states that you can flag early if no other team-mate of the player in an offside position has the opportunity to play the ball. There is no mention in there about defenders.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Nope, that isn't right as the law exert that social lurker posted clearly states that you can flag early if no other team-mate of the player in an offside position has the opportunity to play the ball. There is no mention in there about defenders.
Being in an offside position isn't an offense. And if a defender might get to the ball and reset the offside, penalising a player for their position alone directly contradicts the very strict definition of what an offside offence actually is.

And if we're going to cite "diagram 4" and act as if that overrides the actual law, let's not ignore diagrams 2 and 3, both of which include the phrase "The player/Player A did not touch the ball, so cannot be penalised".

And one further point - the player in diagram 4 is nowhere near anyone. That diagram exists to make the point that the whistle can be blown early to save the players running if it's clear they are going to get the ball. It does not relate to the situation we're talking about where there was a possibility of the attacker not getting the ball at all. Again, taking a small caption to a very specific picture and quoting it out of context doesn't override the actual law.
 
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