One of the most embarrassing moments out on the FOP for a referee is when we get duped into believing simulation. This is also one of the hardest things to catch, and IMHO the biggest “disease” in the beautiful game. There are plenty of things that we can do as referees in order better understand and catch the culprits as they try to trick and deceive us (see l’arbitre’s post on simulation). However, no matter how close we are to play, how focused and concentrated we are, or how diligent we we try to be in all our games, sometimes the actors on the FOP catch us off guard and we fall for their theatrics.
In a recent Polish 1 Liga match, GKS Tychy centre back, Muhamed Omic was sent off for DOGSO.
When I first saw this clip I thought nothing of it. It looked like the clip was posted to show a possible missed foul just outside the Arka PA which then lead to a quick counter attack and ultimately to the DOGSO. Everything looked above board and kosher; pretty simple, text book DOGSO scenario. But then I saw the replay from two other angles and my heart sank. The referee was duped into thinking that Omic committed a foul.
In any other instance, this lack of awareness on the referee’s part would have been more easily forgiven; easier to swallow. This is especially true given the fact the referee had to cover a huge distance in order to catch up to play, which is highly unlikely, and nearly impossible. Unfortunately, the Arka attacker took full advantage of the situation and most likely knew that all the criteria for a DOGSO foul would apply and took a dive. So, not only would there be a foul, but there would also be a red card for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. That makes this referee DOUBLE DUPED! I was embarrassed for him!
Kudos to the attacker for quickly realizing the position he was in and recognizing the DOGSO considerations (4 D’s):
1) number of Defenders – Did the area between the attacker and the goal have fewer than two nearby defenders?
2) Distance to goal – The farther from goal, the less likely it is that an “obvious” goal scoring opportunity existed.
3) Distance to the ball -Was the ball within a reasonable distance to the attacker playing the ball?
4) Direction of play -The attacker must have been moving toward the goal (not the goal line) at the time the foul was committed.
Unfortunately for this referee, his credibility drastically reduces from this point forward. Fouls committed in goal-scoring situations often represent a “moment of truth” for referees and test the referee’s courage. Quick, accurate decisions are crucial. No body said it was easy – recognizing the foul is the easy part; recognizing the “obvious goal-scoring opportunity” is more difficult, and requires some serious huevos. However, when applied properly there comes a great sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that you got it RIGHT!
This Polish referee got it very wrong and probably, not only scored horribly on his assessment for that match, but lost some serious sleep for at least a week. Then I ask…where on earth was the AR during all of this???
Do you agree that the referee got duped?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Third Blind Mouse