Penalty or Not: Belgium v Russia

I’m sort of getting sick of playing this game, but I’m tired of arguing about it in comments, so here we go:

Yet another edition of “Penalty or Not?”

This is the penalty shout for Russia’s Kanunnikov against the Belgian who’s name I’m sicking of looking up for spelling.

Kanunnikov had stepped on the ball before contact was made. If he hadn’t been clumsy, then yeah (though it can be argued, contact might not have occurred if the ball hadn’t stopped him suddenly). But it was the ball that brought him down.

(Unfortunately, Vine’s caption overlay is right over the ball, and I’m too tired to do it again, so you may need to click through or let it play a couple of times.)

Here’s another shot, courtesy of reader Hugh:

Featured photo:


  • Reblogged this on EYES ON THE PRIZE and commented:
    Definitely a penalty


  • lol Jenna! You sound so fed-up. I think this was a PK in my opinion. Not enough ball and if we start letting this go, don’t think careless challenges would exist anymore in the PA.


  • This is a tough one, especially if you watch it live. The replays make it seem like more obvious than it really was. I cannot really blame Brych for this one.

    Jenna, would you be able to provide an opinion for the two Roldan (no)penalty situations?


  • It’s a penalty, but I don’t blame the ref for that one. It looks like he is playing the ball…in fact, I am sure that this is his intention and even with all the different angles I am not ready to rule out totally that he lightly (very lighty) touched the ball before hitting the foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well, this was a much closer vote than I expected…


  • I was wondering about a related topic from the same game. The yellow to the russian for what I assume was some variant of “dangerous play”. Belgian fellow gets hit on the hand, but goes down holding his face like he just had his jaw broken. While I understand (and disagree with) the concept of “simulation”, why not penalize the acting job for what it is – unsportsmanlike conduct.

    Or give that belgian guy an award for best acting. I’d prefer to start throwing cards for acting like you just broke multiple bones.
    Outside of Serie A, how many months of cards do you think it would take before the “best acting awards” stopped?

    As for the russian, it was a “dangerous” play, not sure how it is any different then Boye actually kicking Dempsey in the face.


    • Actually, I saw that. He was shaking his hands wildly and put them to his face, but then you can see he’s clearly grasping his hand under him. I saw it like a little kid putting a hurt hand in his mouth. 🙂

      Wouldn’t read too much into it.

      I got nothing on the Dempsey thing…no idea why that wasn’t called.

      PS…No, I don’t agree with giving a card to a guy who literally just took a flying kick full of studs in the palm because YOU think he should have reacted differently. Just like Ian Darke calling an unconscious man a faker, fans and commentators are not really the best judge of how much a player is actually hurt.


      • Lets be honest here. Darke makes that comment partially _because_ of the acting in top level football. “Oh look, another player down. Gee, how surprising. Oh look, his team is ahead, and time is just winding away”

        I’m not sure _how_ anyone could get cynical about “injuries”.
        (and the related question, does FIFA even have a head injury policy? That guy should never of been allowed back into the game)

        I realize that getting spiked anywhere hurts. Does it call for the level of histrionics we see every game?

        You mentioned in an earlier post why you like the Swiss team. Pity no other team plays like that – and FIFA does nothing to curb the exaggeration. “Feel any pressure? Fall down.” “It’s up to the ref to figure it out.”

        I’m pretty sure the refs _could_ do something about it, they just chose not to.


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