- Apr 9, 2010
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Ok, I wasn't going to post on this issue again, but considering this very point came up on another forum, I thought it would be good to address your comment.
There is a tendency among fans to consider that a hand around or near the eye area must be an automatic red card or citing, but unlike a punch, there is NO WR directive to referees/citing officials that makes contact with the eye area either an automatic red card or citing (perhaps there should be, but currently there isn't). Neither is there a directive outlining a protocol that starts a red and works down as there is for a spear tackle or a tackle in the air. Contact with the eye-area is treated like any other foul play infringement such as a dangerous tackle i.e. it is left to the judgement of the referee, and later, the citing officer. It is up to them to judge whether what they have seen passes the "red card test".
In this case, the referee had the best angle (certainly better than either of the two camera angles I have seen). From his position, he could see Kane Douglas' face. Obviously he decided that it did not meet the criteria for a yellow card, let alone a red card, and decided that warning Franks off was sufficient. Now, we can complain about that all we like, but in the end, within the 80 minutes, it was HIS decision to make, and his alone.
The checks and balances on the referees decisions as regards temporary suspensions and sending-offs is in the purview of the Citing Commissioner, who has unfettered access to ALL camera angles. Guess what? He came to the same conclusions as the referee.... that Franks' actions did not pass the "red card test". Not only that, he didn't think it passed the "yellow card test" either, otherwise he would have issued a Citing Commissioner Warning. Once again, we can jump up and down all we like, but in the end, within the citing period after the match, it was HIS decision to make, and his alone.
Now none of this means that I think what Franks did was OK. IMO, he should probably have been cited. I am simply trying to make a reasonable stab at understanding why he wasn't.
And it makes sense as players usually do hand-offs which normally touches the opponent's face, and a hand-off is not a foul or offence unless you do it like Liam Messam or Bismarck Du Plessis - With the elbow.