Behind the Whistle: Leicester and Preston decisions analysed

7 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

In Behind the Whistle, former Premier League referee Chris Foy goes through 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 will be here to run you through some refereeing matters in the EFL…

Stoke City 0-5 Leicester City

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The referee anticipates the play, and gets himself in a great position to see if there was any contact on the attacking player, which there clearly was, resulting in a penalty being awarded to Leicester

Incident: Potential penalty (Leicester City)

Decision: Penalty awarded – Foul (Leicester City)

Foy says: “This decision is one that highlights a really positive bit of refereeing, one which shows quick thinking and hard work to create an optimal viewing angle.

“As the ball is flicked onto the Leicester number 22, you can see there is possible contact coming from the Stoke defender. At this point, it is about anticipating the developing phase of play and getting yourself into the best position possible.

“The referee does extremely well to position himself to the left so that he has a clear view of the challenge by the Stoke defender, who makes a sliding challenge, resulting in clear contact with the consequence of tripping.

“The referee points to the spot without hesitation, and correctly issues a yellow card for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity as the defender clearly made an attempt to play the ball.”

Preston North End 3-2 Ipswich Town

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Preston North End may feel they should have been awarded an indirect free-kick, as following a back pass, the goalkeeper miscontrolled the ball, and subsequently used his hands to get the ball away

Incident: Possible pass-back (Preston North End)

Decision: No indirect free-kick awarded (Preston North End)

Foy says: “It is rare that you see this type of incident occur in games, and it always leaves the referee with a difficult decision to make. In this case, the ball is played back towards the Ipswich Town goalkeeper, who attempts to control the ball, and takes a heavy touch and subsequently handles the ball.

“The replays confirm that the pass from the teammate was deliberate and that the goalkeeper has not clearly kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play, rather he miscontrolled the ball, therefore once the goalkeeper has handled the ball, it should have resulted in an indirect free-kick to Preston North End on the edge of the six-yard box. There is no yellow or red card required in the Laws of the Game for this action by the goalkeeper.”

Portsmouth 4-1 Northampton Town

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Should Portsmouth’s goal have been ruled out for offside?

Incident: Potential offside (Portsmouth)

Decision: Goal given (Portsmouth)

Foy says: “When this clip is played in real-time, it is easy to suspect that the Portsmouth number 32 is in an offside position as the ball is played through to him.

“However, the replays confirm that an excellent decision was made by the assistant referee, as the attacker is just in his own half when the ball is last played by a team-mate.

“The speed at which the play was developing, and the distance of the long ball made this a tricky decision, but he gets it spot on and the goal was correctly awarded.”

Fleetwood Town 3-0 Port Vale

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Were Port Vale unlucky to see this goal disallowed for handball?

Incident: Goal scored – potential handball (Port Vale)

Decision: Goal disallowed – Handball (Port Vale)

Foy says: “This is a good spot from the referee in a crowded penalty area. The ball bounces up and hits the Port Vale number 27 on the arm, and the same attacker then ‘scores’ a goal.

“Whether or not the handball action was deliberate or accidental, the fact that it led to the same attacker who handled the ball then playing the ball into goal means that it has to be ruled out as per the Laws of the Game.”

Sutton United 1-1 Doncaster Rovers

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Was it the correct decision to award Doncaster a penalty for this incident in the League Two clash with Sutton?

Incident: Potential penalty (Doncaster Rovers)

Decision: Penalty awarded (Doncaster Rovers)

Foy says: “The ball is lofted into the penalty area and as soon as the goalkeeper comes out and makes a challenge for the ball, the referee is given a decision to make as to whether the challenge is fair or a foul.

“As the goalkeeper comes out, he jumps towards the ball and clearly makes unfair contact with the Doncaster attacker who is challenging for the ball. The goalkeeper’s challenge does not play the ball and is reckless, and therefore a penalty.

“The referee delays his whistle briefly to see if there is any advantage, however it’s clear there isn’t, therefore he correctly awards the spot-kick.”

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