Monday, 3 April 2017

A QUESTION OF INTENT - DID ANDRE MARRINER MAKE RIGHT CALL ON BIG MATCH INCIDENT?

Keith Hackett's article in The Daily Telegraph today

FORMER referee Keith Hackett has praised Andre Marriner's handling of yesterday's Arsenal v Man City match, in particular commending him for not awarding a penalty to the away team when there was contact between ball and the arm of home defender Nacho Monreal in the last minute of the match.

In his column in The Daily Telegraph today, he writes:"To award a penalty or a a free-kick  for a handball, you have to be certain there was intent from the player concerned, and that makes it one of the most difficult areas for  referee to adjudicate on.

"I think I this instance, there was enough doubt for Andre to make the decision he did. The ball was dropping from a height while the player was in motion, and it seemed to me that he just misjudged it . . .it struck me as an accident rather than an offence he intended to commit."

                                                  
Andre Marriner
Hackett continues: "That said, if you asked  a group of referees whether that was a penalty, then I believe half would say it was and half would say it was not."

Which prompts the question:is that the sort of incident that should come under scrutiny in the event of increased use of video technology? And would such technology either have changed Marriner's decision or settled the controversy?

And what if the same incident had happened outside the penalty area? Would the referee still have refrained from penalising what happened?

"Intent"  is sometimes almost impossible to interpret. During the same weekend, Andros Townsend used the top of his arm to deflect a shot in the match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace.

Was that "intent"? Or was it a reflex action? And can a reflex action also be "intended"?

Maybe  FIFA need to take a fresh look at the law on handball. Should it be applied differently in the penalty area compared with outside it? Should "intent" be a consideration? Should "handball" apply only to the hand, not (as at present) to other parts of the arm?

Let the debate continue.

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