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Was the referee who will direct the Superclásico right or wrong?

In the first half of the match between Atletico Tucuman y Banfieldat the close of date 17 of the Professional League, there was a super curious move that posed a legal vacuum in the rules of the game of soccer and that triggered an endless controversy that went viral on social networks.

What happened? The right side of the local team Martín Garay intentionally gave the ball to his goalkeeper, Carlos Lampe. The former Boca and Vélez, in that case, could not touch the ball with his hand. However, the pass, very high, surpassed him and went non-stop to the bottom of the goal. That is why the Bolivian stretched out one of his hands and stopped the shot.

The Banfield players immediately went over the referee Darío Herrera, who will be in charge of directing the Superclásico between Boca and River next Sunday, who scored an indirect free kick, as indicated in the regulations when the goalkeeper uses his hands to control a pass of one of his companions, and he did not budge from that decision.

Rule 12 says so, which speaks of fouls and incorrect conduct:

  • An indirect free kick will be awarded if a goalkeeper commits any of the following offenses inside his own penalty area after a team-mate has kicked it to him

So far so good. But that light punishment is opposed to another paragraph of the same rule that speaks of offenses punishable by expulsion.

Follow the holy book of football in the same rule 12 and says:

Any player, substitute or substituted player who commits any of the following offenses must be sent off:

  • prevent a goal by means of a handball offense or prevent an obvious scoring opportunity (except in the case of the goalkeeper inside his own area);
  • prevent a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity from an opponent heading towards the offender’s goal through an offense punishable by a free kick (except those situations described below),

What are the exceptions in the case of avoiding a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity?

  • When a player prevents a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by the opposing team by committing a handball offense, he must be sent off, regardless of where the offense occurs (unless it is the goalkeeper in his own area).

Atlético and a super numerous barrier against the indirect for Banfield.

And here is the big question.

Although the goalkeeper is the only footballer who has the power to touch the ball with his hand in his own area, in this case, due to a pass from a teammate, he is unable to do so -hence the indirect-. However, what Lampe does is prevent an obvious goalscoring opportunity… he can’t touch the ball with his hand, but he can touch the ball with his hand? Is there a gap in the regulations that the deans of the International Board review year after year? Or was Herrera’s decision correct?

Yes, indeed: the referee of the Superclásico was not wrong. Why? Because there is a directive that when an archer uses his arm it is not considered a last resort because it is a part of the body that can use the arm. When it comes to a back pass from a teammate, it is not considered an obvious scoring opportunity.

How did the story end? The indirect free kick was taken after Lampe and co. went ahead without anyone touching the ball about three or four times. Until Ramiro Enrique touched it to Jesús Dátolo, who with the entire arc covered by a barrier of 11, threw it hard and up and the ball went kissing the crossbar.

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