Week in Review #24 August 19-20

Three goals, all called back for offside decisions.  What impact did Video Review have on them?  One had a flag straight away, one had a flag after communication with the referee, and one had no flag.  Ultimately, all three decisions are correct, but they do provide us with good talking points for procedure and protocol with Video Review in place.

Goal Denied Situation #1 - Montreal v Real Salt Lake

Montreal believes that they have scored their fourth goal of the match, but it appears to be offside.  In live play the assistant referee cannot see clearly who last played the ball so he stands at attention with the ball already in the net (normal procedure).  He immediately communicates with the referee that the goal scorer was in an offside position.  After conferring with the referee who confirms that it was played by a teammate of the attacker (on the 50/50 challenge) offside is called and the flag is raised.
This is the point that the Video Review finally comes into play with the VAR doing a check to see if the referee crew have made an obvious error in calling this offside.  Before the flag/offside decision the VAR does not know what needs to be checked for a clear and obvious error.  The VAR will check both the position of the attacker and if it indeed was last played by a teammate.  It is important to note that if the VAR does not have an angle or view that clearly shows an error than the call on the field is deemed correct.  Hence it is always important that a decision be made on the field first.
No formal video review took place on this play because the decision was deemed not to be an error.

Goal Denied Situation #2 - Colorado v DC United

In the waning moments of this match, Colorado score a goal where the ball is deflected in by an offside positioned attacker.  The ball is in the net before the AR has a chance to raise his flag, but he still raises it and makes the offside decision. 
Since there was a goal, the VAR will automatically run a check.  At the same time players will accept the original decision and move into position for the offside indirect free kick restart.  The referee can hold the restart until the check is complete, however, for a situation as clear as this, it will hardly be noticeable.  Play would be restarted with little interference.  
However, if the flag had not been raised, there would have been the normal celebrations by players (and fans) and then they would move to their own half of the field for the restart.  Once the VAR had identified the clear error, the formal review would have to be made and the restart would then need to be moved back to the point of the offside.  This would have added unnecessary delay to a match already in stoppage time. 
Remember that the philosophy of video review is “minimum interference – maximum benefit”.  Every time that a play goes into a formal review, there will be more interference.  Making correct judgements in the first instance helps keep this philosophy.
No formal review was made on this play as it was deemed not to be an error.

Goal Denied Situation #3 - Columbus v LA Galaxy

Los Angeles Galaxy think they have scored the first goal of the match. However, there is a offside situation where the AR needs help from the referee.  He is not completely sure if the offside positioned player has touched the ball before it went into the net and the referee has a closer view.  Proper procedure is to keep the flag down until he can get confirmation one way or the other with the referee. 
Since a goal was scored, this play will automatically be checked by the VAR, however,  the referee and AR must confer first and decide whether they have offside or not.  In this case the referee has seen a touch and the AR has offside position.  Unfortunately, they do not communicate effectively, and assume that the VAR will look at it anyways and let them know. 
In retrospect, the flag should have gone up first for offside, although it would be clearly after the ball was in the net, and then the VAR will know what specifically needs to be checked for an obvious error.
Remember, the decision on the field is seen as correct unless VR sees a clear and obvious error.  Looking at these clips here (VAR had more) some may argue that LA #88 did not touch the ball and the goal should have stood. (The player later admitted that he had touched the ball.)  What if, at that moment, there was a technical issue with the VR process?  An incorrect decision would have been allowed.
Comparing this situation with the previous one where the flag was raised, shows the difference in the amount of interference and delay caused by having to go to a formal review and moving the restart. Additionally, the players and staff react differently towards the referee crew to what they perceive as a goal taken away versus one that was never given.  More reason to make the original decision correct and not let it ever get to a formal video review.
A formal video review was done on this play because it was deemed an obvious error.  In this case the referee does not have to look at the field side monitor because offside is a factual decision.

What Should You Do?  San Jose v Philadelphia

What is the correct decision on this play that happened during the San Jose v Philadelphia match?
The ball never leaves the field and was always in play.  There is a foul by the Philadelphia attacker that clearly occurs off the field of play.  What should you do?

What Should You Do? - SJ v PHI
Flag for foul - Restart with drop ball on goal line
Flag for foul - Restart with Indirect Free Kick on goal line
Flag for foul - Restart with Direct Free Kick on goal line
No Flag since foul occured off the field of play

Winner- Call of the Week #23 - Jeff Greeson

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Call of the Week #24

This week's Call of the Week choices are from Chicago v Toronto where Jose DaSilva doesn't lose sight of a lagging defender of Toronto's first goal and Montreal v RSL where Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho correctly denies Montreal's goal after consulting with the referee.  You pick.



Who had Call of the Week #24?
Jose DaSilva - Chicago v Toronto
Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho - Montreal v Real Salt Lake