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Behind the Whistle: Cardiff red and Blackburn penalty call analysed

Behind the Whistle: Cardiff red and Blackburn penalty call analysed

In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy goes through a selection of key match decisions from the latest Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two action.

Although many decisions made on the pitch are of a subjective nature, Behind the Whistle aims to give supporters of EFL clubs an insight into the decision-making considerations and also clarification of certain calls to provide an understanding of how the laws of the game are interpreted.

As part of our regular feature on Sky Sports following the conclusion of a matchday, Foy runs you through some of the latest refereeing matters in the EFL….

Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End 2-0 Cardiff City

Incident: Potential red card – DOGSO (Cardiff City)

Decision: Red card awarded – DOGSO (Cardiff City)

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Jak Alnwick was sent off for this tackle in the Sky Bet Championship game between Preston North End and Cardiff City

I don’t think there can be any complaints about the decision to award a red card in this situation.

Whilst the goalkeeper’s intentions are to clear the ball, he mistimes his challenge, which results in a clear foul on the attacker and denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity (DOGSO).

Consideration as to whether the challenge was a serious foul is also required, and had the leading right leg made high and full contact a red card for serious foul play would have been merited – however on balance a red card for DOGSO is the correct decision.

Sheffield United 0-1 Luton Town

Incident: Potential red card (Sheffield United)

Decision: Not awarded (Sheffield United)

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Was Billy Sharp lucky to avoid a red card in Sheffield United’s Sky Bet Championship match against Luton Town?

Even if the Sheffield United attacker has not purposefully gone to strike the defender of Luton Town, once you raise your arms in that motion alongside making contact with this area of the opponent, there is always a risk that the referee could interpret this to be an act of violent conduct.

Whilst it’s not a clear error from the referee, looking at the footage, had a red card have been issued, there couldn’t have been too many complaints.

Stoke City 3-2 Blackburn Rovers

Incident: Potential Penalty (Blackburn Rovers)

Decision: No penalty awarded (Blackburn Rovers)

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Should Blackburn Rovers have been awarded a penalty for this incident in their Sky Bet Championship match against Stoke City?

Referees are human and on occasions can misread a situation in real time, and this is an example.

I think this is a decision that should have resulted in a penalty kick being awarded for handball. The defending player’s arms are clearly away from his body and in an unnatural position, therefore making his body bigger.

Sky Bet League One

Burton Albion 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers

Incident: Goal scored – potential offside (Burton Albion)

Decision: Goal awarded (Burton Albion)

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Should Dale Taylor’s goal in the Sky Bet League One match between Burton Albion and Wycombe Wanderers have stood?

In this instance, I think when the Burton Albion player initially wins the flick-on, his fellow attacking player is very marginally the other side of the second-last defender – the right leg is the key part of the body.

It certainly appears to be a very close decision, especially given the fact the attacker returns to an onside position after the ball is played, but I think this is an incident that should have been ruled as offside with no goal being awarded.

Charlton Athletic 1-1 Accrington Stanley

Incident: Goal scored – after dropped ball (Charlton Athletic

Decision: Goal awarded (Charlton Athletic)

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Steven Sessegnon scored for Charlton Athletic after a drop ball against Accrington Stanley in their Sky Bet League One match

It is always unfortunate when a referee gets hit by the ball and this is something that referees try and avoid; however, the law provides clear guidance in the event it happens.

The match official has applied the law exactly as he should have in this situation, as when the ball touches a match official, and remains on the field of play and:

  • a team starts a promising attack or
  • the ball goes directly into the goal or
  • the team in possession of the ball changes

An uncontested dropped ball is given to the team initially in possession of the ball. During the process all opposition players must be four metres away. Whilst the goal comes soon after the dropped ball there is no reason why it should be disallowed, as the ball has touched at least two players before the goal is scored.

Sky Bet League Two

Newport County 1-1 Bradford City

Incident: Potential Red Card – DOGSO (Bradford City)

Decision: Yellow card awarded (Bradford City)

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League Two match between Newport County and Bradford City

I’m sure I am not the only one to have sympathy for the Bradford City goalkeeper on this occasion, with the pitch markings perhaps creating the confusion for him in terms of his whereabouts.

As has been spoken about over the weekend, there is a potential red card offence for a denial of a goalscoring opportunity (DOGSO), however I don’t believe this warrants a dismissal.

When the goalkeeper catches the ball, the nearest player is a defender. The positioning of the attacking player is key to the decision, as well as the likelihood of the attacker gaining control of the ball at the moment of the handball offence. The attacking player was not denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity, and I think the correct call on balance is a yellow card.

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