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2012 Olympics Match #5: Canada v. USA

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BTW, can anyone give me a reaonable description of the alleged stomp involving Tancredi. I didn't tape the game, didn't note it at the time, and can find no reliable web site to get an unbiased assessment. Was it a (likely) deliberate stomp? Is it something she should have been sent off for?

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The ‘Rules’ are actually called ‘Laws’ and are available here, together with FIFA’s ‘Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees’:

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/generic/81/42/36/lawsofthegame_2011_12_en.pdf

The ‘Law’ for the goalkeeper keeping possession for more than 6 seconds is covered under Law 12 (page 35 of the above publication), from which it can clearly be seen that no warning or ‘caution’ is required. It could even be argued, successfully, I believe, that to do anything other than award an indirect free kick is contrary to the Laws. Some pundits even say that is why the Law is rarely enforced, because the penalty is so harsh.

Now was it an unusual call, I believe the answer is yes. Was it a legitimate call? I believe it was. Was it applied fairly? I do not believe so, the US ‘keeper kept the ball for longer than 6 seconds in her possession shortly after ‘the incident’ and was not penalized, is this fair application of the ‘Law’ or is it selective? Did the ref. have her eyes shut all that time, or was she playing favourites? If you are going to be strict, to be fair, you have to be strict with everyone.

Now on to what really irks me, the taking of the free kick. This is covered on page 125 of the above publication. Kicking the ball at an opponent during the correct execution of a free kick is allowed provided it is not ‘careless’, ‘reckless’ or ‘using excessive force’, the FIFA definitions of these terms are given on page 111 of the above publication. It is my contention that the US player who executed the free kick did it in a manner that was at the very least ‘reckless’ and very likely qualified for the description (using the FIFA definition) of ‘using excessive force’. Both should have resulted in a free kick to the opposition with a caution (yellow card) for the former and sending off (red card) for the latter. ‘Careless’ play only requires a free kick. Did the referee take any of this into consideration? I do not think so; I believe that the US player who took the free kick did so as hard as she could (or very close to it) at the stationary defending players without regard to the possible injury she could cause to those players. That being said ‘Playing the ball in a dangerous manner’ (page 115 of the above publication) should, in my opinion, also apply to this situation but does not because it only applies to a player ‘trying’ to play the ball.

Just some of my thoughts and observations on the procedure, I would like to be able to call it a game, but the overall performance of the person appointed as a referee makes that impossible. That was the worst performance of a so-called referee in a high-level football game (yes I am a Brit. and it is football to anyone outside N. America) that I have ever seen, and I am now pushing 70 so I have seen a few ‘bad-uns’. It was at only about 5 minutes into the game, when the Canadian player gave the US player a ‘piggy back ride’, that I remarked to my wife that the Canadians were not only playing the US team but the referee as well. I know there were missed calls by the so-called referee that may have benefited the US side had they been made but this, in my opinion, only further solidifies the evidence that Ms Pedersen is, at the very least, incompetent, or perhaps something very, very much worse. Be strict by all means, it will, in my opinion, ‘spoil’ the flow of the game but should it be applied fairly there is little room for complaint.

Would it have made any difference to the outcome of the game if had been officiated fairly? I do not know, the teams were, in my opinion, very close ability wise. However now look at the facts, prior to this game, no team had scored against the US, Canada scored three times in spite of the incompetent/biased officiating. I know the US scored four but one of those was the result of an ‘unusual’ decision followed by complete disregard for the Laws of The Game (just my opinion). Therefore discounting that one goal we have a draw. Now imagine the frustration even the slowest witted, and most generous minded Canadian players must have felt when they eventually realised, and at the end of the ’incident’ there could be little doubt, that they were also ‘playing the ref.’ Additionally, at the end of the ‘incident’, despondency would, I believe not be unnatural together with the fear that they may be penalized for some other rarely enforced law, or even very minor infraction. On the other side think of the ‘lift’ the US players must have had when they realised that they were unlikely to be penalized, the handball in the US penalty area shortly before the ‘incident’, the ‘incident’ itself, and the flagrant breaking of the six second Law by the US ‘keeper shortly after the incident all would contribute to this and must have ‘knocked the stuffing’ right out of the Canadian girls, but they still tried despite, the by now, blatantly obvious odds against them. My hat goes off to them!

Please note I am not taking anything away from the US team, they also played hard and well and took full advantage of every opportunity they had but they must surely wonder what the result would have been with fair officiating. To those who say Canada would have won I say why are you not billionaires? I believe it was to close to call.

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Ms Pedersen has caused controversy even in her native Norway:

http://www.tv2.no/sport/fotball/toppserien/roeaspiller-aner-ikke-hvorfor-jeg-faar-roedt-3301183.html

Should you not understand Norwegian you can feed the above link into google translate. The translation is not very good but the gist is, I believe, in a semi-final game a player raised her arm to indicate that the ball had gone 'out of play' that arm accidentally touched another player. Ms Pedersen issued a red card which meant that not only was the player sent off but missed the next game, the cup final!

An official like that, in my view, should have no place on a world stage.

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What about Hope Solo continually carrying the ball out of the penalty area in the act of kicking, technically that should be deliberate handball

I fully agree with you, in fact the channel I watched the game on initially thought that was what the Canadian 'keeper was called for.

Outside the penalty area the goalkeeper is just another player, nothing special

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What?

Where's the body of evidence?

I watch a lot of footie. A lot. Four-five hundred games a year for the last six or seven years and never, never in my days can I recall an indirect free kick be awarded for time wasting by a goal keeper.

Show me. I just want to see the data.

Sorry Cheeta, the little book of words http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/generic/81/42/36/lawsofthegame_2011_12_en.pdf

page 114, it is the only punishment permited.

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Well said. This referee was too young, inexperienced and lacked common sense. She should re-read Law 18 and she should be given a failing mark in her assessment. If I may, what I used to do in cases of a keeper controlling the ball more than 6 seconds, I would wait until the ball was next out of play, hold the restart while I would remind the keeper of the 6 second rule. Then play on!

I like the way you put that!

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I would also like to know what the rules state in regards to where the ball should be spotted in such cases. As i alluded to earlier in the thread, the only circumstances i have seen such play is on back passes to the keeper wherby its handled by the keeper. Thats a relaively new rule BTW. In that case its easy to determine where you spot the ball (ie you spot it where the keeper touched it).

But if such a six second rule exist, which i will take peoples word on it, where to you spot the ball? Why not at the edge of the box down at the goal line? Hell the keeper never stays in one place any ways.

So why did the ref spot the ball in such an ideal spot for them?

It is supposed to be spotted where the infraction took place, except if the infraction took place in the 'keeper's box then it goes to the line of the box parralel to the goal line.

Edited by biguggy
Add further information

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Here we have a prime example of how incompetent and/or corrupt Pedersen really is.

Regardless of whether or not the ball did fully cross the line and remember ALL of the ball has to be completely over ALL of the line to be out of play. On the instant replay I saw I could not tell if this was the case or not, certainly the bottom of the ball was over the line but was all of it when the US player kicked it, I do not know.

What I am sure of is. The ball was played by a US player who had left the field of play without, as far as I can ascertain, receiving the permission of the referee, a yellow card offence.

There was a similar incident in the 14th minute when Morgan played a ball against a Canadian defender but the ball bounced off the defender, then off Morgan, before going into touch. The US was awarded a corner.

Maybe Pedersen had given the US players permission to leave the field of play whenever they liked! Page 36 of the Laws Of The Game refers.

Edited by biguggy
To add information

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Is Women's soccer the only sport at the Olympics that ban men from officiating?

I do not know, but perhaps ice hockey and field hockey are the same.

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According to some of the media reports she was given warnings... depending on who you talk to!

I saw the interview McLeod gave on television shortly after the game and she stated that the only warning she had received was from one of the assistant referees at half time with a vague warning to speed the game up a bit.

This, unfortunately, raises more questions than it answers. Did she give the same warning to the US ‘keeper? If not why not, they were both contravening the law? If she did warn the US ‘keeper a lot of the following is meaningless.

It was not her job to issue warnings, it the job of the referee. Why did she do it?

Was she aware that ‘something’ was or, may have, ‘been coming down’ and did what she could to try and prevent it? Morale conscience perhaps, some shred of decency left, who knows.

Pedersen's father is quoted as saying she (Pedersen)told him she had warned McLeod twice, and told Sinclair that her 'keeper was taking to long. Will we ever know the truth of that?

Edited by biguggy
clarify

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^ Good post.

It seems Pedersen is Daddy's girl, she needs to fez up herself. Warning of "speed the game up a bit" there is no such thing in the Laws. What does it mean?, run faster, jump higher, catch quicker, etc.? agree too vague besides the AR should not talk to the players, if they have something to say, they must go through the man in the middle. And in summary, there is no evidence of any warning. Furthermore the fact that Wambitch was not yellow carded for dissent corroborates that Pedersen didn't have the guts to issue warnings at all.

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In the new teachings The Ref AR's are taught that they are one of 3 referees and should enforce the Laws the same as the "middle" referee and should communicate with players. It is taught that the AR should look after encroachment in their quadrant near their posistion and to do this they must communicate with players. I hate reffing games now with cocky AR's as they cause more trouble than they help.

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^ Good post.

It seems Pedersen is Daddy's girl, she needs to fez up herself. Warning of "speed the game up a bit" there is no such thing in the Laws. What does it mean?, run faster, jump higher, catch quicker, etc.? agree too vague besides the AR should not talk to the players, if they have something to say, they must go through the man in the middle. And in summary, there is no evidence of any warning. Furthermore the fact that Wambitch was not yellow carded for dissent corroborates that Pedersen didn't have the guts to issue warnings at all.

Thank you for the comment and support.

Are you still a ref, if so please be careful what you 'say', you may be sanctioned as well?

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In the new teachings The Ref AR's are taught that they are one of 3 referees and should enforce the Laws the same as the "middle" referee and should communicate with players. It is taught that the AR should look after encroachment in their quadrant near their posistion and to do this they must communicate with players. I hate reffing games now with cocky AR's as they cause more trouble than they help.

That maybe what they are being taught but it not in the latest "Laws & Guidelines' I referenced above.

Now I have no idea what additional 'guidelines', if any, were issued for the Olympics, or for that matter what extra guidelines are used at lower level games.

Incidentally according to the little book of words above the Ref can relieve an AR of his duties, page 27.

Edited by biguggy
Clarify

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Going back to the corner at 90 minutes and my post #262 above.

Leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission is an offence for which a caution should be issued. There are instances where the referee’s tacit permission is deemed to have been given, for example at corner kicks, throw ins, and in lower level games for the players to retrieve the ball. Additionally, I have never seen over running the ball or an opponent over the touch or goal lines called for that, or an injured player removing himself from the field of play although all are technically without the ref’s permission.

The Laws and Guidelines give a further instance where it is in order to leave the field of play, that is to remove ones self from an offside position and show the referee that you have no intention of trying to take part in the active play. It also notes that the referee’s permission must be obtained prior to returning to the field of play, Page 103 of the Laws and Guidelines refers.

Now the corner at 90 minutes, there is no doubt the US player left the field of play, did she have the referee’s permission, I doubt it. She also she quite obviously played (I am assuming that the referee still considered it to be 'in play') the ball whilst she was off the field of play. I can find no reference to this in the Laws or Guidelines; can anyone help me here? On page 103 of the Laws and Guideline, when discussing a player removing himself from the field of play to avoid an offside situation he should not return if by so doing he will gain a tactical advantage. Should the same criteria apply to the situation we have here as the US player obviously left the field of play to gain a tactical advantage? Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Edited by biguggy

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^ Good post.

It seems Pedersen is Daddy's girl, she needs to fez up herself. Warning of "speed the game up a bit" there is no such thing in the Laws. What does it mean?, run faster, jump higher, catch quicker, etc.? agree too vague besides the AR should not talk to the players, if they have something to say, they must go through the man in the middle. And in summary, there is no evidence of any warning. Furthermore the fact that Wambitch was not yellow carded for dissent corroborates that Pedersen didn't have the guts to issue warnings at all.

Re: Carding of the Wombat, what about the late tackle on Scott?

Edited by biguggy
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