Friday 11 November 2011

Violent Conduct by Thierry Henry

The following incident occurred during the MLS match between Sporting Kansas City and New York Red Bulls on Saturday 15 October 2011. The match finished 2—0.

In the 28', Referee Kevin Stott sent off New York Red Bulls Thierry Henry for violent conduct. Here are the freeze frames:

RED CARD: Thierry Henry sent off for foul (YouTube clip)

Instead of walking off the pitch, Henry protested his innocence to anyone who would listen but to no avail.

1) What incident(s) led up to the act of violent conduct?
2) Could the offending player have avoided his actions?
3) Did the Referee have a good view of the act of violent conduct?

1) Immediately prior to the incident, New York Red Bulls' Thierry Henry became frustrated when challenged by a few opponents and eventually lost possession of the ball. This frustration boiled over when Henry saw the opportunity to mete out his emotions on an opponent who was on the ground (Roger Espinoza).

2) A good rule of thumb is for Referees to consider whether the offending player would perform the very same action toward his own team-mate. In such situations, the duty of care is with the player who is behind his opponent. It was quite possible for Henry to avoid running into the back of Espinoza but Henry chose not to and instead angled his knee toward Espinoza's back.

3) Referee Kevin Stott had a near and unobstructed view. There was no doubt in the Referee's mind that Henry's unsporting act was violent conduct.

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