I regularly see comments on social media about different incidents regarding the laws of the game.
People put up with certain situations and make ill-advised comments, and even commitments that can lead only to more confusion.
One is where a ball is over the goal line, but the goal upright is not in line with the goalpost.
Is this a goal or not?
I would ask the referee (perhaps it wasn’t a game, but just a set-up) why he allowed the game to go ahead at all.
At the start of each game, the referee is told by his assessors/mentors to check the field of play for any defects that might endanger player safety.
While doing this, the referee should also check the markings on the field of play to ensure they comply with the laws of the game.
Then he should check the goal area, including the penalty area, to see that the measurement regulations are met.
One of those checks is to see that the lines on the field of play are exactly as the law requires.
I’m sure you are aware that the lines on the field of play can be up to, but not more than, 12cm in width. The lines can be less if required, but at no time should they be more or less than the width of the goalposts.
An important point here is that under no circumstances should loose lime be used to demarcate a pitch because this can be very detrimental to a person’s health if it’s inhaled.
Also, in windy weather, the loose lime can be blown around and get into a player’s eyes. I’ve seen it on more than one occasion.
An important stipulation here is that the lines must match the width of the goal uprights and must be level with the goalposts.
In the incident described above, the goal upright was not in line with the goal line, but in fact a little distance back from it.
Now the question asked was: Is this a goal or not, because the ball had crossed the line between the posts but had not entered the goal?
Well, the law says “a goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line between the uprights and under the cross bar either on the ground or in the air”.
Obviously, all other concerns are taken into account, including whether there was a foul or handball by the attacker.
Referees and their assistants are entitled to a match fee. The amount depends on the competition, and varies from competition to competition and from country to country – but they are entitled to it.
Match officials from South Africa have asked me when they can expect to get their match fee.
They tell me the distances they have to travel to a game and the cost of transport to and from their homes.
First, I no longer have any connection with the footballing authorities in South Africa and, second, I no longer live there.
Referees are run and controlled by the “mother” body in each country. In South Africa, it’s Safa.
Anyone with a complaint should direct their enquiries first to their local refereeing body, which should take up their case with Safa.
When I was in charge of referees at the PSL, I made sure that referees were paid their fee and expenses in the first week of the month after the games had been played, and it worked well.
Refereeing dissatisfaction can lead to only one thing – the temptation by certain team officials to offer an “incentive” to the match official and that could have disastrous consequences – bribery and corruption – and no one wants or needs that.
Stay safe and stay well, and keep your distance during this Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Please feel free to make comments or ask questions.
- Follow me on Twitter @dr_errol
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