Monday, October 24, 2011

Is it any surprise...

after what goes on in the Premier League, that I had to caution two players within three minutes on Saturday for diving in with two-footed tackles. I told the first player he had come within an inch of getting a straight red for his foul and I questioned myself harshly after the game to determine if I had bottled a decision, avoiding a red card. The problem with these challenges is that I find them incredibly difficult to judge. It's simple to rule whether they're a foul or not, but when yellow and when red?
I had a perfect view of both fouls but still cannot say if they crossed the line from yellow to red. I'm fairly sure the second challenge was simply reckless and merited a yellow, but in the first the players went in with both feet off the ground, catching the player and the ball at the same time.
I was lining to a more senior referee last week who saw a similar foul and immediately took the red card out. he told me after the game he preferred to get the card out quickly to trust his initial judgement. I felt I needed a couple of seconds to make the call and decided I'd show a yellow, judging that the player had not intended injury to his opponent.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt? Maybe, but even us refs have to admit that sometimes these calls are hard to make.

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