Thursday 19 November 2009

Referees Must Remain Alert During the Whole Match

This incident occurred in the final minutes of an Asian Cup Qualifier match between Hong Kong and Japan on 18 November 2009 at Hong Kong Stadium (attendance 13,254). Japan was already leading 3-0 but this is no reason for match officials to relax or lose focus. The referee and assistant referees must always remain alert, both physically and mentally, until the final whistle is blown. What occurred towards the end of this match demonstrates why all match officials must be alert until the final whistle is blown.

2009 11 18 Hong Kong v Japan: Asian Cup 2011 Qualifier 4th Goal

At 1:40, Hong Kong captain (red 15) fouls a Japan player (blue 33). There is reason to believe that the foul occurred outside the penalty area.

These following 7 screenshots show the likelihood that contact by Hong Kong captain (red 15) on the trailing left leg of the Japan player (blue 33) was made outside the penalty area. The position of Hong Kong captain (red 15) appears to be outside the box. Obviously, pictures from a camera looking along the 18-yard penalty line would confirm whether the foul occurred inside or outside the penalty area.

Interestingly, Hong Kong player (red 31) probably had a better view of the foul than the referee. Red player 31 (at the top right of the screenshots) was close enough to see exactly where contact was made during the tackle. After the whistle was blown, Red player 31 tried (calmly, it must be noted) to tell the referee that it was outside the box, but the referee unsurprisingly did not listen to him … despite the fact that very occasionally (!) players are correct and referees are wrong.

Match Details: Hong Kong 0 – 4 Japan

Also see: What Should Be Awarded For Impeding a Player?

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