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EducationPlay of the Week

Play of the Week 5: DOGSO in MTL vs. NY

Djimi Traore is dismissed

Apr 9, 2014

PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer continues to look at Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO) in Play of the Week 5.

Rejer further discusses DOGSO using an incident from Saturday, April 5, match between Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls, which ended 2-2.

He said: “Continuing on from last week’s look at DOGSO, where we examined four different plays from last weekend’s games, I would again like to look at DOGSO and the implication of the so called ‘Triple Punishment’, which is continually being discussed as an argument for referees not sending off players for DOGSO when a PK is awarded.

“Many have the belief that the player who is sent off receives three punishments; a PK against his team, his dismissal, followed by a suspension, which they believe is unfair.

“The argument is also based on the fact that the opposing team have not actually been denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity as a PK is an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

“The International Football Association Board (IFAB) – the Board who make and amend the Laws of The Game – recently met to discuss the Triple Punishment and whether to change the law so that any player who is guilty of a DOGSO offense is not sent off the field, so he only receives one punishment (PK) instead of three.

“The Board voted and decided (six to two) to leave the law unchanged. The reason they used was that it would encourage players to cynically commit DOGSO, in the penalty area, in the knowledge they would not be sent off.

“The implications to this vote means that referees should continue to apply the law as it intends, even if that means a triple punishment for a player who is guilty of DOGSO. We saw an example of this last week in the Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew game, refereed by Allen Chapman.

“The problem this potentially creates is that referees, knowing the serious consequences for the player, can, even subconsciously, cause them to award the PK and ‘close’ their mind to the possibility of a DOGSO.

“I am not suggesting that referees would blatantly not apply law but the DOGSO may not even occur to them once awarding the PK. I have many examples of this from leagues all over the world.

“One example of it is from this week’s Play of The Week in the match between Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls where referee Silviu Petrescu correctly awards a PK but does not send off Matteo Ferrari for his foul on Bradley Wright-Phillips.

“If you recall the criteria in the Laws of The Game that I listed last week:

  • The direction of the play – Wright-Phillips is heading towards goal.
  • The distance between the offence and the goal – A short distance, he is in the penalty area.
  • The likelihood of the player keeping or gaining control of the ball – The ball is bouncing but he has time to control it.
  • Proximity of both the attacker and defender to the ball plus the location and number of defenders – He would have had a clear shot at goal before defenders could have tackled him. The goalkeeper did not close him down.
  • The opportunity for an obvious attempt on goal – All the boxes are ticked for an obvious attempt on goal.

“Therefore, until the Law makers (IFAB) decide to change the Law to consider ‘The Triple Punishment’, referees have to apply law by considering the above criteria only and if the law is harsh that is not the referees’ concern.

“In these types of situations referees have to be aware and clinically apply the Laws of the Game.”

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