Thatcher/Mendes incident

Discussion in 'Referee' started by ctsoccer13, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. ctsoccer13

    ctsoccer13 Member+

    Mar 25, 2002
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just wondering how many of you saw the Thatcher/Mendes incident. If you haven't, here is a link to the video (it happens kinda far into it):

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=syurgraIu5o

    It's incredible that the referee only gave a yellow. I realize we have the benefit of instant replay, but watching the pace that Thatcher came in with, there is obviously no intent to play the ball. Later he also misses a very blatant hand ball in the box. Bad day for this ref.
     
  2. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    I'll be honest, I didn't see the elbow until the replay. Not sure where the ref was positioned, but it is unlikely he saw the elbow either, or it would have likely been a red. However, upon replay, I can clearly see it and think it should have been a red.

    Yup that was a handling call missed too.
     
  3. ctsoccer13

    ctsoccer13 Member+

    Mar 25, 2002
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I can see how the ref would have been screened of the elbow (maybe), but you can't mistake the speed of Thatcher coming in. He never even slows down. That's what stood out the most to me.
     
  4. Englishref

    Englishref Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    London, England
    I don't think either of these clips will be added to the highlight reel when hoping to show FIFA why the age limit should be increased... ;)

    It was a disgraceful tackle that has rightly been slammed by Portsmouth, Man City, Stuart Pearce, the media, and even the PFA. Unfortunately, the only ones who seem to condone it are FIFA who stand by their ridiculous ruling that if a referee makes a human mistake, then instances like this should be brushed under the carpet, rather than given it the full punishment it deserves. If ever there was a case for relaxing/scrapping this approach, then this tackle is it.

    It doesn't surprise me, either, that the police are involved.
     
  5. Claymore

    Claymore Member

    Jul 9, 2000
    Montgomery Vlg, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Even assuming the ref didn't see the elbow, the guy was running in at full pace and not even looking at the ball. Should have been a red, no doubt.

    Is the FA reviewing this?
     
  6. jacoismyhero

    jacoismyhero New Member

    Mar 11, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The police SHOULD be involved there. There is no place for gamesmanship like that in this sport. I can understand the referee possibly missing the sending-off there, though it was pretty clear from any angle the lack of control that Thatcher went into Mendes with. The handling call was atrocious, though. Everyone has a bad game sometimes. I'm glad to see the amount of disdain most of the people involved with this game felt for that tackle; it sort of gives me hope that the sport isn't completely going down the tubes.
     
  7. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    I disagree. If he would have hit him shoulder to shoulder, I don't see it anything beyond a yellow. Just my opinion.
     
  8. jacoismyhero

    jacoismyhero New Member

    Mar 11, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Eh, that's very debatable. You sort of have to make a decision as to wear to draw the line between unsporting behavior and VC/SFP. The elbow in the video clearly makes it SFP, but I think it might be a safe bet that with the intent to injure the player, the speed at which he took after the player, and the careless and reckless and intimidating behavior exhibited, even shoulder to shoulder contact could be a SFP send-off as well.
     
  9. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    Yeah but these are big boys and they play fast and hard. If he had gone through the back or anything else, then I say sure, SFP. However, these guys seem to like to hit and play physical, so I'm not sure we can say just the speed itself would make it SFP.
     
  10. tmaker

    tmaker Member

    Nov 24, 2003
    Seattle
    Apparently, we're all unclear on the definition of excessive force. Please inform us.
     
  11. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI
    In the opinion of the referee.
     
  12. Englishref

    Englishref Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    London, England
    Apparently the FA are going to ask FIFA to allow them to make this an exception. Unfortunately, I doubt FIFA will agree, and say that ok, the referee made a mistake which will lead to a player who assaulted another getting away scot free, but the referee made the decision, and therefore we can't do anything about that. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Englishref

    Englishref Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    London, England
    Having just checked the BBC website, it seems the FA have decided on their own that this is an 'exceptional' case, and charged him with SFP. It'll be interesting to see FIFA's reaction if The FA do upgrade the yellow to a red, having already been told off by them for doing so previously...
     
  14. Wahoo

    Wahoo New Member

    Aug 15, 2001
    Seattle, USA
    I could see how the center ref might have missed the elbow... but among the center ref, the 2 assistants, and the 4th official, I am amazed that noone thought it violent conduct.

    Somebody should have seen it.

    Granted we're all seeing the clip where we know what we're looking for and what happened as a result, but it appears there was no attempt to do anything but injure a player.

    I'm also a bit suprised that the ref didn't have a full brawl on his hands afterwards... can't believe someone didn't go up and deck Thatcher.
     
  15. intechpc

    intechpc Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    West Bend, WI
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I guess I'm inclined to agree that minus the elbow I can see how the referee would go to USB as opposed to VC/SFP. He had a chance to save the ball before it left the FOP as he came charging in. That's the way I read it right up until contact was made. From the vantage point of the referee (which was somewhere near the top of the 18 based on where he was just before going out of frame), I can see how he interpreted it as a dangerous attempt to save the ball from going out of play (assuming again of course that he was screened from seeing the elbow).

    I too am more frustrated with FIFA than the referee in this particular call. The idea that something like this could go completely without sanction is simply unfathomable to me. I suppose I'm used to NFL, MLB and NBA where these things are reviewed and reacted upon after the fact all the time. I think the term exceptional, is a perfect description. FIFA needs to give the FA the latitude to handle this their way.
     
  16. whitehound

    whitehound New Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    O'fallon Il
    Not really. There is a definition in the ATR.... talks about playing well beyond the necessary force and putting your opponant in danger of serious bodily harm. I guess it is our job to be familiar with this kind of stuff and not just freewheel with ITOOTR.:)
     
  17. colins1993

    colins1993 Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  18. USSF REF

    USSF REF Member+

    Leeds (for now)
    United States
    Nov 6, 2005
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, but determining whether or not the player is putting the opponent in danger of serious harm is a subjective decision of the referee which can only be made based on that referee's opinion of the incident.

    I agree that the FA had to do something, but I feel badly for this referee. He is to blame for not sending Thatcher off. Yet, I can't help but feel the referee didn't have a good angle of the incident and most likely didn't see the elbow and if he had a particularly poor angle he would have only been able to think this was a reckless challenege, considering the speed and location of the misconduct. On first viewing, I didn't even notice the elbow, it wasn't until the slowed down 2nd viewing on instant replay from a different angle that I was able to witness the full, horrible, magnitude of this offense.

    So I feel badly for the Referee, but what else is the FA going to do?
     
  19. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI

    Aww come on, everyone else does it :). I agree with you, but as USSF REF said, it comes down to the referee to determine if serious harm will result from the force used. Thats why we get paid the big bucks!
     
  20. whitehound

    whitehound New Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    O'fallon Il
    Of course you are both right about the interpretation of what these words mean. I am trying to point out that it is important to first KNOW what the words are and then apply on field situations and your own personal experiences to make that interpretation. We need to know the law....thats all. :)
     
  21. whitehound

    whitehound New Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    O'fallon Il
    While I do not wish any ill on the referee personally, this really was a no brainer call the absence of which left the FA no choice but to intercede on behalf of the game and its players. You simply cant let things like this happen. I am sure the referee has learned from the incident( I have) and I hope he is given another chance to return when all calms down..........Good job FA.
     
  22. HoldenMan

    HoldenMan New Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    NSW, Australia
    Somebody earlier said the police are involved..is this confirmed?

    If so, then it may allow a means for the FA to take action against the player and not go agaisnt FIFA's word. The FA could perhaps introduce a rule ASAP (and backdate it if necessary) that players who are found guilty of criminal activities occurring during a game are subject to suspension etc.

    It isn't that unusual for referees cards to get upgraded or downgraded by disciplinary committees, why are FIFA so determined to make an example out of this one?

    Didn't see the handball call...can only wonder what was happening, they seem to be disappointing mistakes for a referee of that calibre.

    Hopefully he'll get the chance to come back up to that level without too much holding him back though. Referees are human and can have shockers. Most players wouldn't get dropped after one bad match
     
  23. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    If you read the FA's statement carefully (what the FA said, not what the news reports said the FA said) you will note they did NOT upgrade a card. They simply suspended a player. They noted that *IF* the player had been red carded, the infraction was severe enough to warrant additional games of suspension. It was a very carefully worded statement. FA's are fully within their rights to suspend players for multitudes of reasons - not just because they were sent off.
     
  24. karps

    karps New Member

    Jul 21, 2003
    Madison, WI area
    I agree. Unfortunately they used the term "Serious Foul Play", which a specific sending-off misconduct phrase. They need to call it "Unwarranted Violence" or some such non-soccer term. Regardless, so long as they do not change the referee's call, their punishment can stand. If they try to change the call, then FIFA will overrule them and Thatcher will walk.

    :mad: I truly hope they keep Thatcher out of training, team practice, and games until Mendes has been able to play a full 90 minutes and score at least one goal.
     
  25. macheath

    macheath New Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    DC
    I agree that it is hard to see the elbow on first viewing, but also with others who have said that Thatcher could have been sent off just for the charge, at full speed, no attempt to play the ball, and late contact, after the ball was away. Easy to justify a red card, even without the elbow.
     

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