Wednesday 19 August 2015

Referee Correct to Disallow Goal by Bournemouth

Much has been said about the injustice, and the appearance of injustice, to Bournemouth in their match against Liverpool on Monday 17th August 2015. However, the injustice of Christian Benteke's winning goal—which should have been called offside and wasn't—does not mean that there was also an injustice to Tommy Elphick's goal, which referee Craig Pawson correctly disallowed.

The media and Bournemouth wrongly believe that Bournemouth had two major decisions go against them ... when in fact it was only one.

Here are the freeze frames of the Cherries' disallowed goal:

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick (black 5) fouls Liverpool's Dejan Lovren (red 6) to head the ball

Elphick clearly does not believe he did anything wrong as he headed the ball into the Liverpool net in the 11th minute, saying:
"It is really frustrating. I wouldn't like to be doing the referee's job. I got up ahead of him (Dejan Lovren), obviously you have to use your arms as leverage."
Is it obvious that players have to use their arms as leverage? No!

Referees know that if a player uses his arms against an opponent to prevent him from jumping, then it is an offence. Elphick effectively pushed his opponent down, which is a foul.

Friday 14 August 2015

Are ex-Referee Graham Poll's Views Relevant Anymore?

With the start of the 2015-16 EPL season referee Michael Oliver, who officiated Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Swansea, demonstrated why he is possibly the best referee currently in the premiership. Ex-EPL referee Graham Poll praised Oliver but then said something that seriously jarred against modern-day refereeing principles.

Referee Michael Oliver sends off Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois for DOGSO. Pic AP.

In his column Poll said: "Michael Oliver was right to award Swansea a penalty against Chelsea... but Thibaut Courtois did not deserve a straight red card".
He based his reasoning by insisting that "For DOGSO, the ball must be heading towards goal and, as replays show, it was not."

This is a very traditional, rigid and non-progressive take on DOGSO and I do not know of any referee instructors who still stick to this, especially at the highest levels. The problem is perhaps because Graham Poll no longer teaches in refereeing circles, and therefore is no longer up to date with the best current refereeing practices. Therefore, are Poll's views about referees relevant anymore?

Thankfully, the FA review panel rejected Chelsea's ill-advised and frivolous appeal against Courtois' red card and upheld the one-match ban.