Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Educating football 'fans'

I was fortunate enough to go to the FA Cup 1st Round Replay between Wolves and Oldham at Molineux on Tuesday, and I am glad I did since we won 2-1! Being a referee in the stands, I got to hear the opinions of those around me, and I have to say, a lot of them have no idea what they’re talking about! Their opinions, are factually incorrect.
I’ll give you an example. Referee played an advantage for a bad tackle of James Tarkowski by George Elokobi, it was well played and Oldham won a corner. The referee then stopped play to caution Elokobi for a bad tackle, and then went back to see if Takky was alright.
When Tarkowski stood up, the referee ordered him off the pitch, so that when the corner was taken, Latics had 10 players on the pitch. Some fan behind me yells, ‘Where’s the advantage there ref?’ Well, kind Sir, I shall explain.

After the tackle, Oldham retained possession and worked the ball up the pitch where we had a shot blocked and out for a corner. We are in a much more attacking position than we were when the foul took place. ‘
We get fouled against, and we’re at a disadvantage with having 10 players on the pitch!’ You are vaguely  correct with this one, except you are not – we are at an advantage because we have a corner, yet the referee HAS to send Tarkowski off the pitch to receive treatment.

This is in accordance with Law 5, The Referee – ‘stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures that he is removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted.’ And that is why, Mr Football Fan, the referee asked James Tarkowski to leave the field when we had the corner.
Another incident that stuck in the mind, was when Sidney Schmeltz was booked after Wolves had a free kick, and then they kicked the ball at him. Numpty fan, in total disgust, can’t understand why he has been booked – and says, ‘He kicked the ball at him, and we get booked for it?’ Well, Mr Fan, here is why – he was not 10 yards away when the free kick was taken.

Schmeltz was booked in that instance, for an infringement of Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct – Failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in.
And there we go, I have explained some of the most confusing and baffling calls made by referee Keith Stroud during Oldham’s total domination of Wolves on Tuesday.