Friday 2 October 2009

Fine-Tuning Penalty Kicks for Europa League Referees

Penalty kicks during the second round Europa League matches yesterday (1 October 2009) revealed how the Extra Assistant Referee (EAR) can complicate positioning matters. In this videoclip between Valencia and Genoa, the Referee awards a penalty kick to Genoa when the score is 2-1. Take a look at where the Referee and the EAR are positioned.

Question 1: Who saw the foul and did the EAR play a part?

Question 2: Why is the Referee standing in a different position to the standard position?

[From the videoclip, this is the positioning of the match officials during the penalty kick.]

The presence of the EAR appears to have shifted the R to stand on the right side of the goal during the penalty kick. In HKRef's opinion, this is not Optimum Officiating.

HKRef’s suggestion. For penalty kicks, an EAR standing on the goal line is redundant because the AR is already responsible for ensuring that the goalkeeper remains on the goal line before the ball is kicked, and that the ball crosses the goal line between the posts and under the crossbar. An EAR on the goal line is therefore a waste of an extra pair of eyes and a waste of “presence”.

What would be better is for the Referee to use the EAR to help keep an eye on other players and to help prevent them from running in to the penalty area before the ball is kicked. The presence of another match official near the 18 yard line can help deter players from entering the penalty area prematurely during penalty kicks.

[HKRef's suggestion for Optimum Officiating.]

Does anyone else have other suggestions?

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