By PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer
Following on from last week, we are again discussing teamwork and co-operation when an incident occurs directly in front of the AR but the referee has a better viewing angle.
In this clip, from FC Dallas versus Vancouver Whitecaps, as play develops into the corner area in front of AR Philippe Briere, Whitecaps’ Nicolas Mezquida goes down under pressure from Dallas’ Ryan Hollingshead, and Briere’s first instinct is that it is a foul.
If you look at his body language, he is poised to signal. However, like all good assistant referees, he glances first to see where the referee, Jair Marrufo, is positioned in case he has a superior viewing angle, and indeed if he agrees whether it is a foul or not.
As discussed last week, referees have a responsibility to concentrate on potential fouls and misconduct even when the play is close to his assistant, as an AR’s positioning is prescriptive and he cannot move to create a better angle. Therefore, his view is somewhat one dimensional.
When Briere looks at Marrufo he receives information from the referee not to signal for the free-kick as, from his viewing angle, no foul occurred. Briere then reacts very quickly and signals for a goal kick, a seamless transition which no-one, apart from referee observers, would notice.
This is good officiating and teamwork from AR and referee, when the AR is poised to signal for what he sees as a foul but takes a glance at the referee first, and the referee in showing heightened awareness and not totally relying on his AR in those circumstances.