The Poll Recount: Liverpool’s penalty, Suarez’s hands, Richardson’s card

Graham Poll offers his thoughts on the weekend controversies in each Monday’s Mail. Sometimes we agree, sometimes not. This occasional column will explore those of his verdicts that find us at odds with our own …

Today, Graham Poll insists Kieran Richardson should have been sent off when Phil Dowd awarded the penalty to Liverpool. He mocks the perfectly plausible argument that Suraez, as Dowd saw it, was heading away from goal and may even have pushed the ball too far to be able to control it. He was emphatically not making a simple tour round Mignolet to tap the ball home, much as he may have wished.

And Poll presents no view at all on the charging down by Suarez with his hands when Richardson made his bodged clearance near the halfway live. Had this been in a penalty area, and done by a defender, a penalty would have been a very likely outcome. Instead of being penalised, Suarez was allowed to take full advantage of the ball bouncing from his hands to his feet. He was through.

And Phil Johnson, a regular Salut! Sunderland reader from Thailand, adds these points, each the sort of thing we might hope a man like Poll to address:

Given all of the column inches that have been given to the incident in question I thought that a look at the rules of the game were in order.

Now, in relation to the offence of “Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity”, which shall result in a red card for the offending player, the criteria are:

1) The direction of the play (more about that later)

2) The location of the foul

3) The proximity of the ball to the player

4) The probability of controlling the ball

5) The location and number of opponents

6) The opportunity for an attempt on goal

Taking these one at a time (returning to number one last) …

2) In the penalty area, but not relevant to the card colour

3) Close enough but again not relevant in this context

4) This is debatable – had Suarez pushed the ball too far ahead, or not?

5) Not relevant

6) Again debatable (See 4)

The killer blow, though, for all those claiming that the card colour should have been red is that “Play MUST be heading towards the offending player’s goal” and this shall override all other considerations!

There is no reference to “goal line or corner flag (where Suarez was heading) ONLY “goal”, which as we all know is the bit in the middle of the goal line and can be clearly identified by posts, crossbar and nets!

I say all (Graham Poll obviously not included) and as an aside when I posted the relevant section of the rule book under comments in the Daily Mail, this appeared about five minutes later: “We’re sorry but reader comments are currently unavailable”.

Over to you Mr Poll (whose book, as shown, can be bought at a bargain price at the usual Amazon link).

Monsieur Salut

Share this post

22 thoughts on “The Poll Recount: Liverpool’s penalty, Suarez’s hands, Richardson’s card”

  1. When I saw the Suarez charge-down from end-on my mind wandered to the rubgy charge-down rule. It’s legal in that game, but in Saturday’s game it was a joke. I also thought that Suarez made a meal of Richardson’s tackle and the whole incident was difficult to referee. I think Dowd came to a common-sense compromise – awarded the penalty but left our player on the field. I know that is “logically” wrong, and that is essentially Poll’s point, but I think Dowd got it correct. Common-sense and logic are direct opposites. When dealing with human beings common sense should win out every time.

  2. I find the two “dislikes”, in relation to my post comical!

    If those that elected to select that option don’t like having the “FIFA laws of the game” quoted and cannot accept their existence then (maybe) they should take up a “sport” more suited to their abilities to accept reasoning.

    Paraplegic tiddlywinks for retarded gnats anyone?

  3. I’m amazed that while joining unanimously in the “Richardson should have been sent off” mantra, almost none of the Liverpool supporters coming here – despite some reasonable points made by them – so much as mentions the handball without which the penalty incident would not have occurred.

  4. lfc4life – we did watch match of the day, and the number of times the incident was replayed showed how Suarez clouded the whole issue by deliberately tripping over himself. That was plain to see, which is more than any contact from Richardson’s foot was. Also plain to see was his waving of the imaginary card rather than appealing for a penalty. Is this not still outside the rules?

  5. None of these worthy comments address the fact that Suarez tripped himself up; it’s very clear to see if anyone takes the time to look at the footage.
    In that case, and presuming Dowd didn’t see Richardson’s hand on the forward’s shoulder, Suarez should have had a yellow for simulation.

  6. The debate is mute to be honest it should have never got that far as a hand ball for Suarez should have given us (Sunderland) a free kick. So in short Poll your wrong the Yellow card should be risended and Suarez should be given a yellow for being playing on and trying to get another player sent off. Last part is worth a try anyway

  7. What’s the fuss?

    As clear red card as you can get and you all know it deep down…

    If you don’t, then you dont watch match of the day!
    They clearly showed Suarez had opened up a complete open goal by changing the angle of the ball, with the ball within shooting distance.

    When someone is fouled in that position, the person committing the foul is denying a goal scoring opportunity is it not?

    As for the handball I don’t know whether it hit his hand or not, but if it did then the ref missed it obviously , but there was no missing that red cardv:/

    Anyways I thought we were shit but Sunderland were excellent and well worth there point!

  8. red2death says:
    August 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    “Interesting. So, if a player is bearing down on a completely open goal but at an angle to it, and he’s fouled, it’s just a yellow.”

    Not at all.

    If he is approaching the goal, at an angle, (and other criteria are met) it would be a red.

    Running away from the goal, at an angle, it is a yellow.

    Tony says:
    August 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Is there not something about being the last defender?

    That is covered under point 5).

    Callaghan says:
    August 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    “Not to discredit your efforts anymore, I’m saying the argument fails at the very least with 3) & 4). It is clear, had Suarez not been impeded he would have made it to the ball with enough of an angle to score.”

    Whether he had the ball under control and could have manufactured a goal scoring opportunity are both matters for the referee to consider and would be a separate debate.

    They, though, do not have to be considered at all if the player is not heading towards the goal!

    Felderkirk says:
    August 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    ‘The killer blow, though, for all those claiming that the card colour should have been red is that “Play MUST be heading towards the offending player’s goal” and this shall override all other considerations…’

    Why, exactly, shall this override all other considerations? Is that last bit part of the rule you quote but you just forgot to include it in the inverted commas?”

    Sorry!

    My mistake!

    “and this shall override all other considerations” should, also, have been in inverted commas because it is part of the rule and guidance to referees.

    Pete Sixsmith says:
    August 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    “Had Poll been refereeing, he would presumably have given Richardson 2 yellow cards, thus, in the parallel universe known as PollWorld, allowing Kieran to stay on the field.

    Dowd (a man who can count) or Poll? You choose.”

    Well said sir!

    I can, also, remember the aforementioned Mr Poll allowing Andy Cole to play “pat-a-cake” with the ball before scoring at the SOL and then sending off two players in the melee that resulted from his incompetence!

  9. Shall we discuss carragher’s red that wasn’t given now? Or does that not support the scouse every-ref-is-against-us conspiracy theory? Thought so.

  10. Had Poll been refereeing, he would presumably have given Richardson 2 yellow cards, thus, in the parallel universe known as PollWorld, allowing Kieran to stay on the field.
    Dowd (a man who can count) or Poll? You choose.

  11. There is an amazing slant in bias when it comes to the media, and those speaking through the media toward the so called ‘top clubs’. The way the commentators commentate, the way the news media present/spin the story etc. It is always intended to reinforce the current dominant power structure.

    Cheating is fine, as long as you are a top, top club. Talk about being blinkered. The rule book is supposed to be a definite guide, yet the decisions will change based on the venue and the competition. Honest opinions are an extreme rarity when it comes to known names voicing them in the media, they will always toe the line.

    (what reputation).

    That’s what the money will dictate.

    Anyway. Sunderland always were and always will be a good honest team, that will be reinforced as the ever increasing corruption leads progressively to disillusionment, at least among those thoughtful supporters. The mob will always be the mob like. The so called profane /rant

    P.S. Funny how the big “free press” sites like to censor the comments section so that they wont have any dissent. Free speech my arse. Yep, there is a consensus. We all believe everything we read (at least in the mainstream media)!

  12. ‘The killer blow, though, for all those claiming that the card colour should have been red is that “Play MUST be heading towards the offending player’s goal” and this shall override all other considerations…’

    Why, exactly, shall this override all other considerations? Is that last bit part of the rule you quote but you just forgot to include it in the inverted commas?

    The fact is that the delayed indecision of Dowd merely adds to the farce. From now on, if a player is 1-on-1 with the keeper, centrally positioned, and the keeper brings him down as the striker is trying to round him, it’s all of a sudden merely a yellow card? That’s totally fine, I don’t think LFC fans are complaining that. Its just that it won’t be adhered to. We all know it.

    So you can wheel out your rulebook and act like a big man with your knowledge of football, but you know as well as the rest of us that it’s bullshit. Sunderland were blessed the other day to get off without a red card for that incident. The cast majority of similar incidents in the past have resulted in reds. So quit the belittling bollocks and have the humility to acknowledge that you got lucky.

  13. It’s all well and good saying Richardson should have been sent off, and with that I must agree……but it should never have gotten that far in the first place! Suarez handballed in the first place and a freekick should have been given to Sunderland.

  14. Not to discredit your efforts anymore, I’m saying the argument fails at the very least with 3) & 4). It is clear, had Suarez not been impeded he would have made it to the ball with enough of an angle to score.

  15. It is simply not as cut and dried as David, Callaghan and red2death make out. Try reading everything here about the game and you’ll see plenty of agreement about how good you were early on, how easily we could have been two or more down at half time (though, in truth, our improvement actually began some time before the half time whistle), the touch-and-go nature of the Carroll decision and the competing arguments on the penalty. That sounds a bit more balanced than simply shrieking “he should have had a red” and utterly ignoring the legitimate point about the Suarez use of his hands, uncommon for him of course, to give him the run on goal in the first place.

  16. Interesting. So, if a player is bearing down on a completely open goal but at an angle to it, and he’s fouled, it’s just a yellow.

    He has to be facing forward and kicking the ball straight in front like a 3-year-old for it to be a proper sending off.

    What, are these foosball men?

  17. Wow. Let it go. You could easily have been down to ten men and staring at a 4 goal deficit by half time. If you honestly believe Suarez had pushed the ball too far, you’re either mad or your eyes are painted on.

    For the record, I thought your goal was a cracker and I believe you will easily better last season’s points tally but LFC should have been out of sight by the break.

  18. He should have been sent off. In the case Manchester United were playing against Sunderland, Richardson would have been sent of for sure but Liverpool are treated different. Also why wasn’t a penalty given against Manchester United Rio Ferdinand handed the ball in the box? Simple, because they are Manchester United.

    Keep it up FA

Comments are closed.

Next Post