From the “What Would You Do If…” file

Here’s an  interesting link.

It’s worth watching the entire video.

http://deadspin.com/5870305/dutch-cup-match-halted-after-fan-attacks-opposing-goalkeeper-who-gets-red+carded-for-fighting-back

A couple of clicks reveal that Dutch soccer in general and Ajax in particular has a pretty severe fan problem.  Goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado was unhurt, fortunately.  And yes, he probably could have walked away from the fan.  However, pacifist that I am, if you’re going to run onto the field or court to attack a dude, he should get to fight back.  The last kick was a little much, but if I were the ref, would I have sent him off?  I really, really don’t think so.

The response of the Dutch soccer association has been interestingly non-committal.

The soccer association rescinded the red card Thursday, saying Alvarado’s reaction was triggered by the unprovoked attack on him. But the federation added referee Bas Nijhuis was acting according to the rules when he sent the goalkeeper off.

The federation said Alvarado’s reaction “will not result in a ban.”

The federation said Thursday it will decide soon whether Wednesday’s match should be replayed, resumed, or have Ajax declared the winner.

OK.  That’s strange.  He was acting according to the rules, and yet the card was rescinded?  I don’t think the association can have it both ways.

That said, declaring Ajax the winner would be a terrible decision.  It would essentially reward this drunken hoodlum by having his team win 84 minutes early.

I guess if some idiot kid ran onto the floor to attack a player in one of my high school games, and the player fought back, I’d have to keep him/her in the game.  I would also likely halt the game.  What would y’all do?

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

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