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Date:         Tue, 10 Mar 2009 16:06:50 -0700
Reply-To:     Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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Sender:       Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees
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From:         "Wickham, Dennis" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Match management or skullduggery
In-Reply-To:  A<[log in to unmask]>
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During the waning moments of added time in a FA cup quarterfinal match between Middlesbrough and Everton, the winning side had a corner kick. They played it short, and the video angle showed the flag, ball, the shielding attacking player and three men racing towards. One of the three was referee Mark Halsey. As the two defenders arrived, Halsey blew his whistle and awarded a free kick to the defense. The attacking player gave a look of bewilderment, and then ran back to defend. The referee held up a quick free quick to make the losing side reset the ball in the exact, designated spot near the corner (using up a few more seconds). The final whistle blew about 30 seconds later. Now, it is possible that the camera's angle of view hid a foul by the attacking player. Of course, the attacking player had no reason to commit a foul; his objective was to continue to eat time by shielding the ball, hoping for another corner. Moreover, the whistle seemed to blow before the defenders were close enough to receive an arm or elbow. There did not appear to be an extended arm for a simple holding foul. It is likely that the whistle avoided a nasty foul (and the potential for serious foul play) by the two defenders who knew they needed to get possession of the ball and quickly pass it up field, and who might be frustrated at the end of their hope for an FA Cup. In the common course of such play, the player shielding the ball at the corner gets a swift kick from the defenders. Of course, a free kick for the attacking team would give rise to the same opportunity for mischief when the defenders race another ten yards. A dropped ball in the corner would be a clear indication that there this was an "errant whistle" and could lead to loss of temper and enjoyment. With three or more gathered in the corner, it is difficult to judge who committed the first or any foul. Of course, there was a foul, for that is what the referee awarded. But, was this also a clever management tool to add to our bag of tricks? Or skullduggery? YMMV. Dennis IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication (or in any attachment). Confidential - March 10, 2009 This email and any associated files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for [log in to unmask] If you are not the named addressee do not disseminate, distribute, copy or alter this email. Please notify Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek by telephone at 619.685.3003, you will be reimbursed for any reasonable costs. Warning: SCMV has taken reasonable precautions to ensure no viruses are present in this email, the firm cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email or attachments.

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