Monday, 14 November 2011

Wall Management, Encroachment, Handball

The following incident occurred during the 2012 European Cup playoff 1st leg match between Czech Republic and Montenegro on Saturday 12 November 2011. The match finished 2—0.

Referee Martin Atkinson (EPL Referee) correctly awards a DFK to Czech Republic (red) just outside the penalty area. However, his wall management is not optimum because it is clear the distance from the wall to the ball was not 10 yards. Next, there was additional encroachment and a handball, all of which were missed by the match officials. Here are the freeze frames:

Note: Don't trust the rather crude 10-yard distance arc from the TV, since it is clearly incorrect. Perhaps a better way is to look at the penalty mark (a Montenegro player in white is standing on it) as a frame of reference. The penalty mark is exactly 6 yards perpendicular to the edge of the penalty area, so if an imaginary line is drawn from the penalty mark parallel across the penalty area so that when it is directly perpendicular to where the ball is, then it should be obvious that the distance arc is not accurate. Worryingly even with an inaccurate "TV techno" arc, the players are still inside the arc.

The Referee was well positioned for the free kick but failed to spot the handball.

Late on in the match, Montenegro (white) were awarded a DFK and Referee Atkinson demonstrated the typical EPL standard of positioning during free kicks. Here it is:

Here is a previous example of this EPL type of positioning (see Webb Positioning).

From observation, the EPL standard of positioning during free kicks is not necessarily recognized or encouraged by FIFA or UEFA.

Note: It happens elsewhere too, for instance in the MLS (see here).

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