One of two talking points at our November open meeting came courtesy of Paul Gaskin, who had the room contemplating whether or not to caution the goalkeeper, who might have credibly been sent off; a decision he recently faced in a game he was officiating.
The goalkeeper of Team Blue fouled an opponent who had control of the ball outside of the penalty area and who was running toward goal. As it was explained there were no other defenders between the goalkeeper and his goal, thus the infringement would be deemed to be denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity and a red card would need to be shown to the goalkeeper.
However, in this instance the opponent fouled was able to quickly regain his feet, reach the ball and score a goal before play was stopped by the referee.
Having allowed play to continue and the goal to be scored, the foul has not in fact denied a goal scoring opportunity, thus it cannot be a sending off offence unless deemed serious foul play, which it was not.
This brings us to the matter at hand: Should the foul be considered a mandatory caution on the basis that if play had been stopped and the goal not scored it would have been a sending off offence?
Numerous members questioned the severity of the foul, understanding that if the challenge was deemed reckless then the player must be cautioned. However, if the foul was slight and deemed careless would it be right to caution the goalkeeper on the basis of an alternative outcome that did not come to fruition?
Whether or not it was considered reckless, the general consensus was to issue a caution to the goalkeeper for unsporting behaviour.
Comments are encouraged.