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Marta's goal: A shove on the play?
July 4th, 2011 6:51PM

TAGS:  brazil, referees, women's world cup


[REF WATCH] Five-time women's player of the year Marta sparkled in Brazil's second Women's World Cup game -- a 3-0 win over Norway -- but her first goal came with some controversy. For video of the incident and Randy Vogt's take ...

Did Marta gain possession of the ball by pushing the Norwegian defender in the back?

The Brazil-Norway game was officiated by a U.S. crew: Kari Seitz and assistant referees Marlene Duffy and Veronica Perez.

We asked referee Randy Vogt the author of "Preventive Officiating," for his take on the incident:

"The TV commentators were questioning whether referee Seitz got it right but they should mention the assistant referee in the case as Seitz needed the help of assistant ref Duffy on the play.

"A long ball was played upfield, Seitz started sprinting and she was behind Marta, which is not the best view.

"When a ref is in this position, he or she needs the help of the AR. Also sprinting but parallel to the ball, 20 yards away, was Duffy. She had the best view of anybody on the field. As Duffy did not flag it, then she did not think a foul had been committed."

Marta's goal ...

  1. Ian Plenderleith
    commented on: July 5, 2011 at 8:21 a.m.
    That doesn't answer the question, though, does it? While it's a convenient answer for any referee to say, "It wasn't called, therefore it wasn't a foul," that cyclical logic doesn't tell us whether or not it really was a foul. So in this case it hardly seems worthwhile seeking the advice of a referee (though I've enjoyed all Randy's columns so far). Come on Randy, what did you think?
  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: July 5, 2011 at 8:28 a.m.
    In my view it was clearly a foul. If the roles had been reversed and the Norwegian defender had push Marta from behind we would be discussing DGSO and whether the defender should have been sent off.
  1. Randy Vogt
    commented on: July 5, 2011 at 8:52 a.m.
    To answer Ian above, I think that it was a push. But as I do point out, the best view was that of the AR...20 yards away, with a clear view of the contact between players. And she did not flag it. Randy
  1. Mark Sutton
    commented on: July 5, 2011 at 11:47 a.m.
    I agree with all the comments above. Especially, if Marta was pushed. I'm getting tired of the announcers saying they need to protect the "skilled" players -- really by creating the untouchables. Just call the game according to the rules for ALL the players. From the looks of Brazil and England, flopping has now made its' way to the women's game.
  1. William White
    commented on: July 5, 2011 at 6:58 p.m.
    I'm a youth referee myself, though I certainly don't have 8 trillion games under my belt as RV does ;-) Having some idea of what it's like to be out there on the field I'm also reluctant to criticize not only a fellow referee, but one who's vastly more accomplished than I. That said, I was surprised that KS didn't call what immediately struck me as an obvious foul. Other observations: 1) Unless KS was DIRECTLY behind Marta - and I don't think she was - she should have been able to see enough to call the foul. 2) I don't think that was the AR's call to make - it was far enough from the touchline that it should have been KS's call. All THAT said: 3) This may have been a situation where because of the where the foul occurred on the field that the call "fell between the cracks", with KS thinking the play was her AR's call to make, and the AR thinking it was KS's to make. 4) Who's to say that KS hadn't simply turned her head at the wrong time - to see if there was an offsides call, because she thought she was going to run into a player, whatever? When I'm a center referee I feel I'm able to keep my eye on the play 95+% of the time, but you do have to turn your head away sometimes - and when you do it always feels like the refereeing version of Murphy's Law is lying there in wait! ;-)
  1. Jim Geissman
    commented on: July 5, 2011 at 8:09 p.m.
    1. The way Marta had to dispatch a defender once she reached the PA suggests it wasn't a DOGSO. 2. KS was straight-lined, and Marta's speed meant there really wasn't anything she could do about it. Marta probably had a pretty good idea where she was, too, and what she could or couldn't see.
  1. Bill Richter
    commented on: July 6, 2011 at 12:28 a.m.
    It was a push, it was a foul, and the AR needed to make the call due to Kari's position. It didn't happen that way, and that's the reality of the game, like so much spilled milk. To William White: That's why there's 3 referees on the field and we run the dual diagonal, it gives two angles of view into any situation so the referee team has the best chance of getting it right. But, humans aren't perfect, so there will always be missed calls, the mark of a good referee team is making decisions quickly and moving on to the next play. Doubt has no place once the restart has occurred... :-)

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