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2011 Referee Week in Review - Week 18

Referee Week in Review – Week 18

The Situation: New York at Chivas USA are tied 0-0 in the 90th minute. 

The Play: The ball is played in from a corner kick and deflects off a defending player to the goalkeeper. The referee spots an offense and awards a penalty kick to the attacking team. 

The Decision: The referee decides to consult with the assistant referee and the call is reversed following the discussion. 

My Take: Here we see good communication between the referee and assistant referee. The referee feels more information is needed so he checks with the assistant referee. So long as play has not been restarted, the referee is entitled to change the call should he believe it to be incorrect. This is a good example of the referee maintaining his composure and working with his crew to ensure the correct decision is made. 

The Laws of the Game: Law 5 explains that while all decisions of the referee are final, a decision can be changed if the referee believes to have made the incorrect call so long as play has not been restarted. 

The Situation: San Jose at Columbus are tied 0-0 in the 45th minute of play.    

The Play: The ball is thrown in and the attacking player is held as he attempts to control the ball. The incident takes place in front of the assistant referee and he clearly signals for the offense. 

The Decision: The referee sees that the attacking team is in a position to benefit so he allows play to continue. 

My Take: This is a good example of the referee allowing for advantage to take place. Despite being held, the attacking player maintains possession and is able to create an offensive opportunity for his team in the penalty area. By permitting play to continue, the referee correctly enforces the Laws of the Game by not allowing the offending team to benefit from the foul. 

The Laws of the Game: Law 6 states that the duties of the assistant referees include indicating to the referee when an offense has occurred when the assistant referee has a better view of the incident. Law 5 clearly explains that the referee is responsible for applying advantage by allowing play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalizes the original offense if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time. 

Michael Kennedy is a current MLS referee and has officiated in the league since its founding in 1996. In addition to serving as a professional referee, he has also represented U.S. Soccer as both a FIFA referee and assistant referee.