Courtesy of my friends at http://soccerrefereeusa.com an interesting match incident and question was brought to my attention.
“In the 70′ of the match Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore tussled for the ball with Arsenal’s defender, who seemed to be fouling Altidore. (See 3:11 into the video below) Altidore, using his impressive frame, won the tussle and…scored the goal, BUT it so happened that the match referee, Mr. Atkinson, blew the whistle for the foul before the ball crossed the goal line.
Interestingly enough, there was no red card issued for DOGSO, only a yellow one.
What do you think of the play?”
(check out the entire post and add your comments here http://goo.gl/C4G29K)[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBSA7fxOXbs%5D
Well…here is what I think:
Mr. Atkinson should have had a little patience and kept his whistle out of his mouth for a few seconds just to see what was going to happen next however, factually he was not wrong! Aside from Atkinson being a little more patient, players need to clean the wax out of their ears and stop immediately when the whistle is blown. Atkinson blew his whistle for the foul well before Altidore broke free and shot on goal. There is no reason why that entire sequence of events should have even taken place. If the players stopped at the moment the whistle was blown, then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
As for the Send Off for DOGSO question….could have been easily a send off however, I personally think the caution was correct. Why? The foul happened outside of the penalty area near the far corner. At the time the foul was committed and play was blown dead, neither the ball, nor Altidore were headed in the direction of the goal. At that moment, if both players had stopped when Atkinson blew his whistle, would we even be talking about DOGSO? I highly doubt it. The discussion of DOGSO has only come to light because the ball ended up in the back of the net, and it is only for that reason why people are saying it was an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Well, this blind mouse doesn’t think so; there is nothing obvious about this play from the moment it developed to the moment play was stopped when Atkinson blew his whistle. The obvious goal scoring opportunity only comes to light AFTER the whistle was blown and by that time the ball is no longer in play anyway. Now, IF and only IF Mr. Atkinson waited to see what would develop (which in my opinion is his ONLY mistake here), then the play would have developed and we would then see the obvious goal scoring opportunity, and it is only then that the send off for DOGSO would apply if Altidore was then fouled again inside the PA.
I’m sure there will be many people who disagree with me, and that’s ok! However, I take a little bit of comfort in the fact that Mr. Graham Poll sees things in the same light as I. See his short comments here.
The Third Blind Mouse