I would like to start this article by saying how good the majority of the crowds were during the minutes silence around the grounds to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. After 25 years I hope Justice For The 96 is not too far away.
Last weekend Luis Suarez was cautioned in the fifth minute, he was not happy and tried to tell the referee that it was his first foul.
The simple fact is, it doesn’t matter when or where the foul happens if it requires a caution or even a red card that’s what the man in the middle has to do.
I’ve mentioned this a few times in my previous blogs and for those that have not read before I’ll explain what a referee thinks about when awarding a free kick:
Careless = free kick
Reckless = yellow card
Excessive force = red card
Some referees give themselves a few seconds to decide on some free kick and penalty decisions. I am one of these refs. I’m not talking about playing advantage and bringing it back, I mean not blowing up the second the challenge comes in. Quickly replaying over in your head what you have just seen can be vital. There is a fine line between some challenges that are just a free-kick and those worthy of a yellow card. The same for some that can be a yellow card or red.
You will always get someone that will disagree with what the referee has given. Those that referee at an amateur level will know exactly what I’m talking about. No matter how clear the penalty is there will be a player, coach or parent that will say your useless and you don’t know what you’re doing!
I feel it’s important for every referee, at whatever level, to make sure they get the right decision each time even if they allow a couple seconds to do that.
Mark Clattenburg made the right call to issue the yellow card to Suarez at Anfield. Did he then make a mistake by not issuing the Uruguayan a second yellow card for simulation later in the game?
Was Suarez just avoiding injury by jumping out the way of the challenge? Or was he actually caught? One can only assume the referee thought that the defender got the ball and Suarez falling to the floor is just an after effect of the challenge as Mr Clattenburg waved play on.
Man City will argue that Luis Suarez went to ground too easily. With that in mind let’s jump to the Emirates stadium on Tuesday night.
Matt Jarvis knocks the ball away from Sagna, takes a leg to the chest as the arsenal defender fails to clear, and stumbles but stays on his feet. No penalty. Why did the referee not award a spot kick?
Is it as simple as the West Ham winger didn’t go to ground? I can’t answer for the referee. Maybe he thought there wasn’t and contact and the stumble was a result of Jarvis going around the arsenal defender? Maybe his view was blocked so couldn’t see clearly?
I remember once a few years ago giving a penalty when an attacker got a kick on the ankle but didn’t go to ground. The defending quickly surrounded me and almost altogether said “but he stayed on his feet!” I paused for a few seconds taking in what was said before responding “so you think it’s ok to keep kicking a player until he falls down? A foul is a foul!”
My response was met with silence, they soon moved away and the penalty was taken and scored to which a defending player said “that was never a penalty, f*****g s**t ref”. I called him over took his name and issued a yellow card for dissent by word or action (C2)
I would like to finish of by saying congratulations to the FA Cup final officials, referee Lee Probert, assistant referees Jake Collin, Mick McDonough, fourth official Kevin Friend and reserve assistant referee Simon Bennett I’m sure they will all do a great job and enjoy the day!