Sunday 18 April 2010

Europa League Optimum Officiating

The following incident occurred during the Liverpool and Benfica Europa League second leg quarter-final match on Thursday 8 April 2010. The match ended 4—1, and Liverpool advanced to the semi-final stage with an aggregate score of 5—3.

These 5 freeze frames during a Liverpool corner kick show why the assistant referee (AR) may have thought that there was a touch by a first Liverpool (red) player before the second Liverpool player adjacent to the goalkeeper headed the ball into the goal. This was the decisive first goal of the match.

[In the 28th minute, the ball is flighted into the goal area. Is there a touch by the first Liverpool (red) player?]

Because the AR is unsure whether there was a first touch, he signals for offside. This is optimum officiating because the AR is doing his job and allowing the Referee to be aware of all concerns. By communicating what the concerns are, the Referee can weigh up all the available information to make a more informed decision (because the Referee may have been nearer the play and may also have had a better angle to see the flight of the ball).

Furthermore, because this is the Europa League, there is the added bonus of being able to communicate with the extra assistant referee (EAR) who may have had the optimum view of the incident compared with the R and AR. We can only assume that the R consulted both his AR and EAR, and awarded the goal on the basis that no one but the goalscorer touched the ball before it entered the goal from a corner kick.

In HKRef's view, the AR has done an excellent job. Unfortunately, the Liverpool fans standing behind the AR can only see the negatives in what is actually a moment of optimum officiating.

[Fans abuse the AR for doing his job admirably]

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Europa League Penalty Kicks and Encroachment

Optimum Officiating: AFC Cup 2009 QF 2nd Leg part 6

Search for further examples of "optimum officiating".

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