|In the loving Memory & Spirit of the Game|
|Enjoy, your journey here on... KenAston.org|
-= The Tributes of KEN ASTON MBE
Ken's Corner... by Ken Aston
as printed in the Spring 2000 Inplay
|Most of you will drive to your match, put your car in the parking
lot, and get ready for the game. Does your car have automatic
transmission? If it does, then make sure you leave the automatic aspect
of it in the parking lot, for there's no place for anything automatic in
refereeing. But maybe your car is like mine; its automatic gearbox is
equipped with "fuzzy logic", a thinking process that adapts the gearbox
to the driver's driving style. And so it must be with refereeing - a
thinking process throughout.
Among all the decisions referees are called upon to make, the one given the least thought and the most automatic concerns the tackle from behind, mainly because International Board decision (December 5) is so generalized in defining the offence. ALL tackles endanger the opponent even if only slightly. I first wrote a Directive about the tackle from behind in Teheran in February 1968, ready for the Olympic Games in Mexico later that year. My views have not changed since then and I give them here in the hope that some common sense may return to dealing with this tackle.
First, we cannot consider playing the game where this tackle is totally outlawed, otherwise any player fearing a tackle would simply turn his back on the opponent and make a tackle illegal. Next, we must realize that the challenger for the ball from behind must be traveling at a slightly greater speed than the player in possession. Let's now consider the possibilities:
1. The tackler plays the ball first. His opponent will always fall over, falling over the foot and lower leg, which are now where the ball was. THIS IS FAIR UNLESS you think that there was a REAL danger to the opponent - that more force was used than was necessary to get the ball. If you think this is the case, then you award an Indirect Free Kick for Dangerous Play. You cannot award a Direct Free Kick for Tripping, since the ball was played first.
2. It is normally extremely difficult to judge intention when the tackle is launched. Don't try to! If the tackler touches his opponent's body, leg, or foot first, it is a Direct Free Kick. If it was done with rather more force than is reasonable, a yellow card. If it was done in what one might call a vicious way and clearly endangered the opponent, then a red card.
So, please, no automatic decisions but assess every tackle carefully. Another tackle where referees tend to decide automatically is the two-footed tackle, which by definition has to be a jump. If the two-footed jump is for the ball, it is FAIR - unless the jump lands on the ball just as the opponent's foot is kicking it. This could be dangerous, and if you think it is, then give an Indirect Free Kick. But a two-footed tackle is not AUTOMATICALLY unfair.
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