Behind the Whistle: Huddersfield, Coventry and other EFL decisions explained

30 August 2023 0 By Total Football News

In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy examines a selection of key match decisions from the latest Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two action.

Behind the Whistle aims to give supporters of EFL clubs an insight into the decision-making considerations and also clarification of certain calls to provide an understanding of how the laws of the game are interpreted.

As part of a regular feature on Sky Sports following the conclusion of a matchday, Foy is here to run you through some refereeing matters in the EFL.

Sky Bet Championship

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Huddersfield Town

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Huddersfield felt they had scored against West Brom but it was ruled that there was a foul in the box moments before the goal

Incident: Goal scored - potential foul (Huddersfield Town)

Decision: Goal disallowed (Huddersfield Town)

Foy says: It is clear the actions of the attacker are to disrupt the ability of the defender and in making no attempt to play the ball, they clearly prevent him from having any opportunity to challenge for the ball into the box.

Given the impact and consequences of the actions of the attacker is a push that creates space for the eventual goal scorer, my view is that, while subjective, the correct call was made to disallow the goal.

Coventry City 3-3 Watford

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Coventry were given a penalty for a handball by Watford

Incident: Penalty (Coventry City)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Coventry City)

Foy says: There is no doubt that the ball strikes the arm of the defending player, and at that point, the referee has to make a subjective judgment to determine if the arm is in an unnatural position and/or making the body bigger.

Given the speed the ball is travelling at, the distance between the attacker and defender, and, importantly, the arms of the defender are in a justifiable position given his actions, the better outcome would have been to allow play to continue.

Sky Bet League One

Leyton Orient 0-3 Stevenage

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Leyton Orient were denied a penalty against Stevenage

Incident: Potential penalty (Leyton Orient)

Decision: Penalty not awarded (Leyton Orient)

Foy says: I think this is a challenge where the defender runs a clear risk of being penalised and that could have resulted in a penalty kick being awarded.

It looks like the attacking player has got in front of the defender and in an attempt to regain ground, the defender has reached forward and held the attacking player, impacting his ability to progress, with the consequence of pulling him down to the ground.

Sky Bet League Two

Harrogate Town 0-1 Barrow

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Barrow were awarded a penalty for a handball by Harrogate

Incident: Potential penalty (Harrogate Town)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Harrogate Town)

Foy says: This is a very good example of what should be penalised when officials are making a judgment on a handball decision.

The arms of the defender are above shoulder height with the right arm clearly moved further away making the body unnaturally bigger.

While the ball travels from close proximity following the header from the attacker, the defender makes a clear movement of the arm away from the body which results in clear contact with the ball. It's the correct call to give a penalty kick.

Walsall 1-0 Colchester United

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Walsall have their goal disallowed after an offside decision by the assistant referee

Incident: Potential goal scored (Walsall)

Decision: Goal disallowed - offside (Walsall)

Foy says: A tight judgement call but a very good decision by the assistant referee to disallow the Walsall goal for offside.

There are three attacking players near the penalty spot who could be in an offside position, and the assistant referee waits to see whether the eventual goal scorer touches/plays the ball as he is the deepest of the three.

He looks to have made his move too early on this occasion and is in an offside position when the free-kick is taken.

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