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"It was disappointing to see the referee issue a caution at 92 minutes with the whistle still in his mouth."

Pet peeve? Cause I don't think very many people see that as an issue."

[Reply from Ed: Not so much a pet peeve, more that it is unprofessional and gives a poor impression. How can you talk with the whistle in your mouth? One referee in MLS several years ago got the whistle yanked out of his mouth and thrown away by a player during a similar situation. After that the other refs seemed to stop this practice. I was surprised to see it at this level, setting a bad example.]


Just one comment. Thomson made the correct call. You cannot send off for DOGSO there because it was Handling. In order to get DGH the ball must be on its way into the goal. Since there was no foul (against a player) you can't get DGF and hence it was only a caution. Great call by the ref, unlucky for Denmark

[Reply from Ed: This is not true. Re-read TLOG.]


thank you for compliment but Skomina is not my fellow citizen. Apart from Slovakia there's a country called Slovenia as well ;-)

I also can't agree with the statement about Proenca's game:
"Five cautions were issued, all well deserved."
If you gave YC for every foul as Xavi Alonso got then you would end with games with less than 7 players on one side.

[Reply from Ed: Thank you for pointing out the error. It has now been corrected.
As for cautions, I doubt that games would end with fewer than 7 players on one side, because players change the way they play in response to actions the referee takes. But remember in these Euro-2012 matches, most cautions were in the second half, leaving not much time for five players on one team to get two cards each, which is what is needed to arrive at fewer than seven! This also fails to take into account the well-known reluctance of referees to give a second yellow, and the intelligence of the coaches to remove players in danger of such e.g. Balotelli in the semi-final.
Finally perhaps UEFA referees' committee agrees with me. Who refereed the final?]


Somehow this post is back on top again, so I'll stick my offtopic comment here:
The Guardian had a very nice article about a very good referee and person, Abraham Klein. I had never heard of him, I'm too young and not a referee, but it's worth reading for anyone:

(it dates from March, it just came up in a forum)

[We discussed the article and Mr. Klein in our post on March 29.]


I like your article so that I read all of your articles in a day.Please continue and keep on writing excellent posts.


On the DOGSO-H, I am not sure what your particular association might say about the situation described, and the authority I reference is only authoritative in the United States. However, the USSF has written in a position paper regarding DOGSO in which it indicates that "[h]andling the ball is not a direct sending-off offense unless, in the opinion of the referee, but for the handling the ball would have gone into the net." Were this under the guidelines offered by the USSF, in the situation you describe, at 40 yards out, it would have been unlikely to be a sending-off offense.


[Reply from Ed: This is not what TLOG say. It clearly states that handling to deny an opportunity to score is a sending off offense. For example a goalkeeper who comes out of the penalty area and handles the ball to break up an attack will be sent off, and it that case the ball does not have to be going into the net. So the guideline you are referring to is actually not correct. No National Association can supersede TLOG. Furthermore, the game we discussed was played in Europe under the jurisdiction of UEFA. I doubt that they even know of the existence of this interpretation, let alone would follow it.]


If you're looking for a higher interpretive authority than a national association, FIFA has also offered similar guidance with regards to DOGSO. Here is a link to the FIFA material:


Slide 77 there states TLOG wording, then the following slides (78–80) provide additional interpretative guidance for how to apply those laws in practice.

On the action itself, I see another Portuguese defender on the near side further back than Meireles, which makes for more than just the keeper as defenders to beat. Regardless, it was certainly a tactical foul so a yellow was the minimum.

Thanks for the great analysis!

[Reply from Ed: Yes, the analysis is similar but not identical. Notice that the FIFA slides do NOT state that the ball MUST be going into the goal for any handling DOGSO to apply, which was the point of your initial comment and my response.
In the game in question, we must consider why Meireles decided it would be better to stop the ball with his hand rather than let his colleague take care of it. He must have thought that the possibility of the forward getting to the ball first was greater than that of his colleague. He took a risk but with the complicity of the referee his tactic was successful. We firmly believe that fouls of this type were one of the reasons why the DOGSOs were written into TLOG in the first place.]

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