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Is Football A Contact Sport? Carvalho’s tackle on Keane discussed..

September 21, 2009


The hottest debates from the footballing channels yesterday was of course the referee’s ability to tell the time. But the other interesting topic which ballooned through the evening was the subject of Ricardo Carvalho’s slide tackle on Robbie Keane in the penalty area, in the London derby.

It sparked off furious debate on football phone-in shows. With the subject on whether or not any contact warrants a penalty and how a referee is to interpret this.

Anyone who saw the incident yesterday can see that contact is made with Keane, with the Irishman taking an unconvincing tumble at the end of the challenge. The Eduardo issue has now poisoned this idea of when is a foul a foul?..when does contact warrant a penalty? Referees are always gonna think twice now, simpily because of the saturation the coverage of the Croatian’s fall and subsequent suspension attracted. The fact that that suspension was then rescinded only makes things worse.

Former Chelsea and Spurs centre back Jason “Funboy” Cundy was the most passionate on the subject claiming that contact, even in the challenge, does not mean a foul is committed.

jason_cundyThere is no doubt there is contact, but I think Robbie Keane makes the most of it” Cundy told Sky Sports News. “It is a clumsy challenge by Carvalho, but I don’t think there’s enough in the incident to give a penalty. Look at the way Keane’s right foot lands, it doesn’t land naturally, the manner in which he goes down is unconvincing. I’m not saying it’s a dive, but I don’t think it’s a penalty. It’s definitely a clumsy challenge but Keane just falls a little too easily – it’s not natural – and I think the ref has got it spot on. It’s a heart in the mouth moment for Chelsea, if it is given they can have little complaint, but I’m not sure there’s enough contact to warrant a penalty.”

Cundy went on to proclaim that if the sport carries on down this road where the type of challenge that Carvalho made is considered a foul, that the game would die and turn into a sport akin to Basketball!

Personally I think Mr Cundy has got it ALL wrong. The only legal contact a player can make on an opponent is shoulder to shoulder. Any infringement made on any part of the pitch is considered a foul. The fact that the Portuguese defender slide in, missed the ball, and made a slight contact with the foot of Keane means that it was definitely a penalty. Personally, i do not want to see the aggression taken out of the game. But contact is CONTACT! Whether Keane’s fall is convincing or not, it does not matter. The foul occurs in the first instance, and therefore deserves to be punished.

I hope the Eduardo incident does not haunt this season but i fear it will. It is not up to the official to decide if enough contact is made, but purely if ANY contact is made. Lets keep it simple for the boys in black. These are the rules. Lets not blur what really matters.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. maserati4200 permalink
    September 21, 2009 3:27 pm

    Contact was made and the player impeded. Result: penalty (simples)

  2. September 21, 2009 3:38 pm

    It was a penalty! And I’m allowed to be biased!

    The expletives I was screaming at the TV at the pub is way too obscene to be printed here! GRRR….damned Chelski!

  3. blissbubbley permalink
    September 21, 2009 5:09 pm

    It was a penalty!

    I think Keane was perfectly right to signal to the ref that if it wasn’t a penalty then he should have been booked.

    The reason Keane falls too easy is you can see he’s trying to stay on his feet, as Redknapp said after the game “Robbie was too honest”.

    It was a foul and therefore the punishment is a penalty! Simple as.

  4. September 21, 2009 11:09 pm

    No discussion. Clear peno. The ref bottled it and he knew it. that’s why he didn’t rub it in & give Keane a card.

    The later handball up the other end was also a peno. It probably stopped the ball sailing in under the bar. And it WASN’T “ball-to-hand”.

    But it would already have been a different game if the ref had done his duty 1st time round.

  5. QPR ROB permalink
    September 22, 2009 12:49 am

    Contact is allowed after the player wins the ball. Carvalho does not get the ball and get the man, he does even get the ball and then the man. He imply catches Keane. Keane in my opinion tries to continue and play on but is unable to do so. I dont think it is fair in the day and age when players go down so easy that Keane who attempts to stay up does not get the penalty he deserves.

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