England v Ukraine referee reviewed
Chasing the game against a more highly ranked opponent, the player’s shot bounced over the line but the officials don’t see it and you end up losing the match. Frank Lampard in 2010 and now Devic again tonight. But this is where the similarities end…
England 1-0 Ukraine
Yellow cards: Gerrard, Cole (England) Tymoshchuk, Rakitskiy, Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Red cards: 0
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
With England 1-0 up through a Wayne Rooney goal, Ukraine saught to find an equaliser from a counter-attack.
Now the initial ball to Artem Milevskiy comes to him when he is in an offside position, a fact not spotted by the assistant referee.
He is well positioned to see this although in his defence, long balls are more difficult to call offside as the ball’s direction and eventual recepient is less clear.
Nonetheless, play continues and Milevskiy eventually finds Marko Devic whose shot deflects off John Terry and lands just over the line, before Terry hurried swipes it clear.
They are multiple elements to this. First, if you take the whole attacking move and simply define it as legitimate or illegal, you have to say the offside makes the end result (albeit 60 or so yards down the pitch) of an England free-kick from their subsequent breakaway the “correct” outcome.
However what we have actually seen there is two refereeing mistakes. We’ve dealt with the offside but I know want to discuss the additional referees (ARs); that is the referees who stand by/behind the goal.
There are a number of misconceptions that I have heard from the media and fans about these officials. Firstly that they are only there to judge whether a ball is over the line and nothing else, this is false. They are there to assist with any relevant incident from a penalty claim, violent conduct off the ball or goal-line decisions.
Secondly the fact the ARs are consistently criticised for “not signalling”. As in “What are the additional referees there for? He hasn’t signalled anything to the referee.” The communication is primarily via headset.
While specific and trained hand signals exist between referee and assistant referees (also know as linesman), no such protocol exists between ARs and the referee.
As such, rather than raise his arms in the air, the additional referee will simply speak his reaction (no goal, foul etc.) Finally, I have heard some suggest that these ARs act now as arbitors on all manner of decisions and that the referee almost needs to get permission from them to give a decision. This of course, is also false.
The mistake the AR does in this incident is to – rather unwisely – not move his head past the post to follow the ball. I suppose the common logic would be that if you stand directly face-on with the post then if you see the whole of the ball to the right of it, you know it is a goal.
But this falls down given that from that distance away, at least half a foot either way will be obscured by the post due to complicated issues of visual perception etc which are too tedious to go into here. To get an example, hold a piece of paper side-on in front of you. You don’t see a thin strip excluding the vision of what is behind it but a sort of askew perspective of one or both sides of what is on the paper itself.
Regardless, it may interest you to know that officials have trained for this tournament by having balls random dropped around a goal-line while they watch and must guess correctly or face a foreit of press-ups. This was designed to train the eye, not just of ARs but of referees themselves.
That Kassai did not see it either is a shame, but then again, one would expect him to defer to the AR in this situation.
I have had twitter discussions as to how aggrieved Ukraine can feel given that Milevskiy is offside to begin with, especially its merits with relation to the Lampard strike.
I think realistically that had the goal been given that England fans would feel frustrated BUT not as frustrated as Ukraine fans if the player had been onside AND the goal had still been ruled out.
One has to remember that there was still a lot of work for the Ukraine offence to do after the offside before the “goal” could be struck. That said, ifs buts and maybes a 1-1 scoreline wouldn’t have changed Ukraine’s third spot in the group and the group winner and runner-up would have also remained the same.
Usually I discuss other incidents in the match but this weighed so heavily over the game that other details are likely to be considered small-fry. A few bookings here and there from cynical challenges and a bit of gamesmanship from England players at the end (timewasting notably) were seized on by Kassai.
On a footballing note, it was a shame to see Andriy Shevchenko’s international career end in this way and he was booked with minutes remaining for what is termed a “striker’s tackle.”
Kassai controlled the rest of the match, seemed to be fair to both sides, allowed physical play where appropriate and was decisive for the most part. However – depending on high how profile it is made – the goal-line error may affect his chances of having a knock-out game.
Ref’s rating: 6/10
Ukraine DID finish third courtesy of their better head to head vs. Sweden, so a scoreline of 1-1 would have changed nothing in terms of standings. In turn it would certainly have changed the psychology of the remaining ~30 minutes, so it’s hard to judge how far exactly the consequences of this decision reach.
Posted from United Kingdom
Duly noted, post changed.
Uefa’s chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has defended the officiating at the tournament, claiming two similar decisions in previous games were correct.
Collina said: “We made a mistake. I wish we hadn’t made the mistake but we did. Referees are human beings and human beings make mistakes.”
Yes, we all make mistakes. NO to Goal-line Technology!
Posted from United States
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