UEFA Euro 2021 But Yet Somehow Still Euro 2020 Finals

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Congratulations to Italy, deserved winners of this tournament.

For England, Southgate got his game management wrong. Having done well in previous games (whatever you say about the route, you can only beat what's in front of you), this was a major miscalculation. Despite a scintillating start that did really rattle Italy, Italy then worked their way back into the game. Italy identified what wasn't working and changed their game plan and it ultimately paid off. Italy mixed it up when they needed to whereas England had no Plan B; their very inflexible game plan didn't work once Italy changed their approach.

And I don't know what Southgate was thinking with the penalties. Some of the decision making there is baffling. Not that I'm complaining too much. Never mind, he'll still get a knighthood.
 
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Nope. I'm stating that he acted violently while not playing the ball. I've at no point said he never played for it
Yet again, wasn't violent.
Ah, so you agree that he acted in a manner he knew would cause injury. Excellent
I don't see where you came to this conclusion. How does my obvious exaggeration that harkens back to your street assault hyperbole confirm Chiellini's intentions?

He was intent on stopping the counter attack by conceding a tactical foul. There was no intention to injure a player.
And... that makes it not violent? It would only have been violent if Saka had allowed himself to be injured?

I don't see the relevance.
What makes it look violent is Saka's lean into the pull. You're taught how to tackle, how to take a tackle to avoid injury (as best you can), and you're also taught, unofficially, how to

Saka's lean into Chiellini's pull gives the illusion that it was a violent offence, when in reality it wasn't.

That's the point. Differentiating between pantomime and an actual offense.
Why is an either/or question? Kids can be, and often are, professional footballers. Saka himself signed his first professional contract aged 17 - legally still a child in the UK - and that's hardly exceptional.

It's a question when you start make excuses for a player or exaggerate a legal action. If you consider him a kid, he shouldn't be playing with professionals. If you consider him a professional, then he should be well aware of his opposition's defense style and adapt accordingly. Which he did, beautifully, unfortunately England couldn't capitalise on that last opportunity.
 
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Congratulations to Italy, deserved winners of this tournament.

For England, Southgate got his game management wrong. Having done well in previous games (whatever you say about the route, you can only beat what's in front of you), this was a major miscalculation. Despite a scintillating start that did really rattle Italy, Italy then worked their way back into the game. Italy identified what wasn't working and changed their game plan and it ultimately paid off. Italy mixed it up when they needed to whereas England had no Plan B; their very inflexible game plan didn't work once Italy changed their approach.

And I don't know what Southgate was thinking with the penalties. Some of the decision making there is baffling. Not that I'm complaining too much. Never mind, he'll still get a knighthood.
Great summary.

What is perplexing is that England had such a strong bench, but didn't use it effectively... indeed, if anything, it was used completely the wrong way. Bringing on Rashford and Sancho just to take a penalty...? Ouch.

I reckon that Southgate was understandably bouyed by the faith in his own correctness up until that point, and to be fair he did change things enough to stage a fight back of sorts in ET, but not enough to win the game prior to penalties. I reckon he should have changed things more drastically* but didn't because he wanted to reinforce his belief in the players on the field at the time.

I have to say, though - Southgate is a great manager and I can at least understand his strategy, even though the penalties were perplexing... but are the penalties predecided or decided on the spot? (pardon the pun)... I guess it's a last-second, gut feeling decision, and as such I can't criticise Southgate for sticking with his (proven) instincts. Penalties are always hit and miss** and hence it's harsh to lose such a huge match like that.


*My entry for the 2021 Captain Hindsight Statement of the Year Award
** My entry for the 2021 Captain Obvious Statement of the Year Award
 
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But it was a hilariously blatant, pantomime foul. It wasn't excessive or brutal. Saka just got back up and carried on, and you know what footballers are like for milking "injuries". It also didn't deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity as there were still 2 Italian defenders in the way. Yellow card was the fairest and obvious outcome.

Chiellini was just employing the old (mostly Italian) defender mantra. The ball can pass. The player can pass. But they are not passing together.

Jorginho should have been off though.
We had Mark Clattenburg as our "rules analyst" on ESPN and he said that because Jorginho got ball first then his foot slid off the ball into Grealish's leg, it was not a red card incident.
For most penalty shoot outs I have seen the list of players taking penalties is drawn up after the game because of the need to take into account who is still on the pitch, their physical condition, their confidence levels, and it seems in England's case, how well the players had been taking penalties in training.

The initial 5 names from each team at least will have to be given to officials. Not sure about the players after number five, if it gets that far. But all players on the field at the end of the game will take one kick if needed until the game is won in 'sudden death' after the initial five penalties. And I and think it starts going going back through those that were on the pitch at the end until a winner is produced. No doubt there are rules and regs as to when names have to be given beyond that initial five names.
Yeah I figured it had to be after the game because that's why Rashford and Sancho were brought in so late, to take penalties which ended up backfiring. Of the 5 that took penalties, Saka and Sancho were the two that surprised me. I knew Rashford had taken some for United but Fernandez seems to be taking the majority of them for the club lately. I figured Grealish would take one but I heard later that he hasn't taken one for Villa in over two seasons. I guess you have to go down you list from most sure thing to the questionable ones which is why Kane went first?
 

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In my opinion it's difficult to say a shirt pull is excessive force, but if ever one came close this was it.
Quite so.
Yet again, wasn't violent.
Please go back and read the posts where I quote IFAB's regulations.
I don't see where you came to this conclusion.
You agreed that Saka avoided injury by taking a protective action, thus Chiellini's act would have caused injury.
How does my obvious exaggeration that harkens back to your street assault hyperbole confirm Chiellini's intentions?
Again, it wasn't hyperbole. The point was that a violent act absent the context of football - playing the ball - is a violent act.

Yanking someone's shirt collar back and dragging them to floor in the street is assault. Doing so in football without attempting to play the ball is violent conduct.
Your example of slide-tackling someone in the street is also assault. Doing so in football without attempting to play the ball is also violent conduct. Doing so in football while attempting to play the ball but missing is foul play. Doing so in football while attempting to play the ball and succeeding is a tackle.

This is the context you missed.

He was intent on stopping the counter attack by conceding a tactical foul. There was no intention to injure a player.
Intention to injure is not required, only acting in a manner you know can cause injury. Again, please go back and read the posts where I quote IFAB's regulations.
What makes it look violent is Saka's lean into the pull.
He was restrained by his neck. The entire neckline of his shirt was taut. That is what makes it look violent.


Clearly your opinion is that yanking someone backwards by their collar without attempting to play the ball isn't violent conduct, because it isn't excessive force while not attempting to play the ball. I don't really know why you're acting this way over that.

It's a question when you start make excuses for a player or exaggerate a legal action. If you consider him a kid, he shouldn't be playing with professionals.
Once again, kids sign professional contracts all the time. Not only was Jude Bellingham still legally a child in the UK when he came on against Croatia in this tournament, he was in every one of his previous six appearances for England, and he was when he played professionally for Birmingham City and Borussia Dortmund. Bellingham actually broke the lower age record for a player at the Euros, only for it to be broken less than a week later by Kacper Kozlowski.

Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott both represented England in international games at a younger age. Rooney made his professional debut at 16, and was still only the second-youngest player in Everton history. Harvey Elliot (16) has the Premier League record, but Barnsley's Reuben Noble-Lazarus (15) I think still has the Football League record. There was a professional player for DC United called Freddy Adu who signed a pro contract aged 14, while Souleyman Maman played an international match for Togo aged 13 (though he may have been 16, but FIFA still seems to think he was 13).

Kids play with professionals, because kids can be professionals.
 
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So while it was a hard pull, Saka's lean into the challenge made it look even more violent.

He grabbed his shirt. Saka took the fall to avoid injury.
Whilst I'm not getting into this debate regarding violent conduct and the like, if someone grabs the back of your collar as you try to sprint you're only going to end up treading air for a second before you end up wind-milling backwards because you're actually getting choked at that point. The only way that doesn't happen is if the player's shirt in question just rips open Superman style or the offending player lets go.

It was an absolutely brutal piece of assholery, that's for sure - but it doesn't need to deny a goal-scoring opportunity to be a red. Simply being excessive force without playing the ball is enough.
That's the rub of it, he knows what he's technically allowed to get away with*... there's been plenty of occasions when defending a lead (and some from Chiellini himself, bodychecks into and/or over the advertising hoarding springs to mind) where anything short of GBH is warranted in the dying minutes. "That was a good foul, one for the team" from the likes of Danny Murphy/Lee Dixon e.t.c, and I wish refs would put their foot down on that (among other things).

*Short of an instant red
 

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"That was a good foul, one for the team" from the likes of Danny Murphy/Lee Dixon e.t.c, and I wish refs would put their foot down on that (among other things).
GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants


"Won a penalty" does it for me. That little gem is ingrained in football culture, and it's why we get players like Sterling and Immobile chucking themselves to the floor and clutching bits of themselves.


Edit: Caught this on Twitter just now (retweeted by a Scotsman!)


1626113698622.png
 
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What is perplexing is that England had such a strong bench, but didn't use it effectively... indeed, if anything, it was used completely the wrong way.

England play negatively defensively. They had the strongest attacking bench because they didn't use the attackers at their disposal. The way Southgate sets his team up, he relies on being solid defesively, too solid you might say.

I think it's a bit of an impasse that a defensive manager has such an attacking squad at his disposal. Putting this competition to one side I'd be a bit frustrated if I was an England fan. And this has been reflected by countless SouthgateOut hashtags in the past.
 
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Congratulations to Italy, deserved winners of this tournament.

For England, Southgate got his game management wrong. Having done well in previous games (whatever you say about the route, you can only beat what's in front of you), this was a major miscalculation. Despite a scintillating start that did really rattle Italy, Italy then worked their way back into the game. Italy identified what wasn't working and changed their game plan and it ultimately paid off. Italy mixed it up when they needed to whereas England had no Plan B; their very inflexible game plan didn't work once Italy changed their approach.

And I don't know what Southgate was thinking with the penalties. Some of the decision making there is baffling. Not that I'm complaining too much. Never mind, he'll still get a knighthood.
I agree that Italy deserved to win, and that Southgate may have made mistakes, and Italy made changes to win, yet saying all that, after 90 mins 120 mins, they could only draw with England. So Southgate and England didn't do that bad, and Italy where not that much better. 🙄 😉
 
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Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott both represented England in international games at a younger age. Rooney made his professional debut at 16, and was still only the second-youngest player in Everton history. Harvey Elliot (16) has the Premier League record, but Barnsley's Reuben Noble-Lazarus (15) I think still has the Football League record. There was a professional player for DC United called Freddy Adu who signed a pro contract aged 14, while Souleyman Maman played an international match for Togo aged 13 (though he may have been 16, but FIFA still seems to think he was 13).

Kids play with professionals, because kids can be professionals.
I'm well aware of their careers as Rooney, specifically, was an inspiration during my training.

Yet, Rooney was considered, by all, a professional footballer. He wasn't relegated to the status of a child like you have Saka just because of a tactical foul.

If Rooney was tackled hard we didn't say "HE'S JUST A KID" as you have. Show Saka the respect he deserves for having the talent to be put into the national team and skipping U21 entirely.

Both parties knew exactly what they were doing during that run. Both handled it professionally and executed their plans beautifully.


Even though Italy is my home team, I still wished England would put on a good show. Just because they lost does not give you the excuse to make serious accusations such as assault, even though today's society seemingly tosses those words freely.

if someone grabs the back of your collar as you try to sprint you're only going to end up treading air for a second before you end up wind-milling backwards
Not always the case but that is true.
 
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England play negatively defensively. They had the strongest attacking bench because they didn't use the attackers at their disposal. The way Southgate sets his team up, he relies on being solid defesively, too solid you might say.

I think it's a bit of an impasse that a defensive manager has such an attacking squad at his disposal. Putting this competition to one side I'd be a bit frustrated if I was an England fan. And this has been reflected by countless SouthgateOut hashtags in the past.
That's the sticking point of it all, the German media (according to family living there) were aghast that Sancho wasn't featuring more than the paltry few minutes here and there... and that's just one case.

It is frustrating, but on the other hand the defence/GK combination wasn't a leaky sieve for a change... it was only one conceded from open play all tournament, and it saw us through to the final this time around. The irony is (the Scotland match aside) Southgate's initial selections were on the money, more or less; there were a few 🤔 being thrown around when Trippier was put in again for the final but Italy were at 6's and 7's for the first 30 minutes. The problem is reacting to the reaction, Italy found impetus (from a Mancini rollicking and/or tactical tweaks) and Southgate didn't try to take the initiative back... and it was a similar story against Croatia 3 years ago. That more than anything is what gets people riled up.

Also, something something, 2 holding midfielders, grumble grumble.
 
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Chiellini was just employing the old (mostly Italian) defender mantra. The ball can pass. The player can pass. But they are not passing together.
I didn't know tactical fouling is mostly Italian... Thanks for the authoritative enlightenment on the issue, much appreciated.
 

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I didn't know tactical fouling is mostly Italian... Thanks for the authoritative enlightenment on the issue, much appreciated.

Calm down, he was on your side saying that it wasn't a red card offence.
 

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Yet, Rooney was considered, by all, a professional footballer. He wasn't relegated to the status of a child like you have Saka just because of a tactical foul.
This is nonsensical. He was a child and a professional footballer. That's literally the point - and his young age was repeatedly referred to throughout his early career. It's not a relegation of his status, it's who and what he was.
If Rooney was tackled hard we didn't say "HE'S JUST A KID" as you have.
Didn't say that.
does not give you the excuse to make serious accusations such as assault
Didn't say that either.
Even though Italy is my home team
Aaaand that's the match. I knew there was a reason you were picking an argument and trying your hardest not to read anything I actually said while pretending I said other things, I just didn't know what it was.

If you're going to engage in a discussion in future, please check your attitude at the door and discuss rationally - like everyone else in this thread has managed.

That's the sticking point of it all, the German media (according to family living there) were aghast that Sancho wasn't featuring more than the paltry few minutes here and there... and that's just one case.
Honestly, with the absolute embarrasment of riches of attacking talent in the England team - Kane, Sterling, Rashford, Sancho, and Foden to name but five - it's so odd they got so little game time. Apparently Grealish had the fifth highest number of ball carries into the penalty area in the entire tournament, but only played the equivalent of two games (179 minutes), including just 21 minutes of the final.

I mean, Southgate's taken England to fourth, third, and second in successive tournaments (if we include Nations League), so clearly he knows way more about football than I do, but England conceded the fewest goals of anyone, didn't lose a single match in 90 minutes, and only netted 11 goals in 7 games. Or 7 in 6 if you ignore the relatively easy Ukraine match.
 
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I mean, Southgate's taken England to fourth, third, and second in successive tournaments (if we include Nations League), so clearly he knows way more about football than I do, but England conceded the fewest goals of anyone, didn't lose a single match in 90 minutes, and only netted 11 goals in 7 games. Or 7 in 6 if you ignore the relatively easy Ukraine match.[/color][/b]

That's 1-0 football for you. It's not everyone's cup of tea even if you're winning. The issue here is that a lot of teams play 1-0 football out of necessity, because they lack the quality to play more attractive, cavalier football. As I, you and others have mentioned, England doesn't have to play 1-0 ball, there's plenty of quality being wasted on the bench, but continues to do so anyway because that's just how the manager is.

However long Southgate's tenure is, you might have this generation's "Why didn't Steve Bruce get capped?" and "Why didn't David Hirst play more?" (injuries lol) as "Why didn't Grealish play more?" and "Why didn't Sancho ever start?"
 

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I didn't know tactical fouling is mostly Italian... Thanks for the authoritative enlightenment on the issue, much appreciated.
Stopping the ball from passing is perfectly legal, but you're welcome.

"Why didn't Grealish play more?"
Did he affect the game in any way when he came on?
 

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Did he affect the game in any way when he came on?

Not saying he did in this particular game but the general impression supposedly is that he's England's most gifted creative player. Wasted on the bench under a defensive manager.
 

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Pretty horrible 24 hours for England, mostly because of off field stuff.

86 arrests made when fans breached security at the stadium (without tickets!) before the game, although it seems security there was pretty woeful with them being vastly out-numbered, fans with tickets inside the stadium said they saw them chasing fans down the aisles, pretty embarrassing for a nation hosting UEFA show-piece event.

Fans making mess and causing trouble at Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square was also pretty embarrassing.

And then there was the racist abuse, which was sadly predictable but no less horrific.
 
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Doing so in football without attempting to play the ball is violent conduct.

Doing so in football without attempting to play the ball is also violent conduct.
Neither of these points are necessarily true. Tactical shirt pulling/ tripping/ body checking are part of a game plan. We know that these offences are usually punished with a free kick and yellow card.
Clearly your opinion is that yanking someone backwards by their collar without attempting to play the ball isn't violent conduct, because it isn't excessive force while not attempting to play the ball. I don't really know why you're acting this way over that.
A large part of the force is supplied by Saka. I think it's difficult for any ref to send someone off for a sirt pull on the halfway line.
The point was that a violent act absent the context of football - playing the ball - is a violent act.
Not according to the rules. Lots of violent acts are punished with less than a red card.

I think you award too much gravitas to the wording of these laws and ignore the application. Governing bodies are constantly lobbying FIFA for clarification of various laws. As I was implying with this post
Apologies for dragging this up again but I've just read it.

I think your interpretation of the law is not how FIFA implement it, although it is a valid interpretation of the wording of the law. I'll try to explain what I mean using the Portugal goal in your post.

Offside offence
A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:
  • interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate
Ronaldo is only off side if he touches or attempts to play the ball passed by Silva. Once it goes to Jota it is a new phase. The teammate referred to in the text is Silva in this case. This law means it is no longer an automatic offence to be in an offside position when a teammate plays the ball. The player must also be active, and as Ronaldo didn't attempt to play Silva's pass he is deemed to be inactive. He can get involved in the play immediately after Jota touches the ball.

This part of the law also addresses a situation where the ball is played towards Ronaldo. If he doesn't attempt to play the ball, or prevent an opponent from playing the ball, he is also deemed to be inactive. If an onside teammate collects Silva's pass Ronaldo is permitted to get involved in the play immediately, if he has gotten himself into an onside position.

Everything that happens after Jota collects the ball is moot since Ronaldo is onside when Jota passes.
The rules of football are often ambiguous and/or contradictory.
 

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Neither of these points are necessarily true. Tactical shirt pulling/ tripping/ body checking are part of a game plan. We know that these offences are usually punished with a free kick and yellow card.
These are all explicitly covered in section 12.
Not according to the rules. Lots of violent acts are punished with less than a red card.
It depends on the offence, but again by the letter of section 12, "violent conduct" is a dismissable offence, while "serious foul play" is not necessarily so. There is an explicit difference again, wherein the former is an act that places the player in danger and the latter is an act that does not adequately consider a player's safety.
I think you award too much gravitas to the wording of these laws and ignore the application.
As we've seen, the application is wildly inconsistent 😆 That is, after all, why we have good and bad referees. Words are more important, as they convey meaning.
The rules of football are often ambiguous and/or contradictory.
I'm not sure I've seen an outright contradictory one - after all, it's not a Bible - but there's certainly room for interpretation, and intentionally so; it's an organic sport and sometimes organic things have a way of behaving that rules don't adequately cover.

Nonetheless, the only room for interpretation here is "do you consider yanking a player back by the collar so that it is taut around his throat to be an act which places the player in danger, or one which does not adequately consider his safety"?

If it's the former, it's a red card. If it's the latter, it isn't. I think for the most part everyone here is on that page, whether they think it's red or yellow, and discussing it with civility.


Here's section 12 for everyone to have a look at if they are sufficiently interested:
 
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This is nonsensical. He was a child and a professional footballer. That's literally the point - and his young age was repeatedly referred to throughout his early career. It's not a relegation of his status, it's who and what he was.
Now you want to turn the conversation somewhere else entirely.
Didn't say that.
You did:
whether you regarding yanking a kid back by his neck to be "excessive force"
This is the point of the argument that you tried to twist the other way. No matter how young Rooney was, he was still respected for his skillset no matter his age. His age in fact accelerated his rise to the top, just like Saka will soon see. At no point in Rooney's career did anyone exaggerate a foul because of his age.

You, on the other hand, want to make Chiellini a villain for "yanking a kid", instead of conceding a tactical foul on a fellow professional footballer that's on the same playing field, literally and figuratively.
Didn't say that either.
And yet you did, again.
he fully collared him, and that's assault if you do it in the street to someone.
Comments like these I understand in the heat of the moment, but not well after the match.
Aaaand that's the match.
And it's still not. I respected the match, and found it entertaining, unlike most English fans.

I don't have an issue with you, personally, nor do I display an attitude. Maybe it's lost in your interpretation of my tone.

I also don't much care for excuses on behalf of other players, nor accusations on opposing players based on subjective arguments over an objective call by the referee. We make these kinds of comments all the time but sometimes you'll see one out in the wild that is actually serious and it makes you wonder.
 
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No, and you literally just quoted me not doing it.
And yet you did, again.
No, and you literally just quoted me not doing it.

I said the things you can quote. I did not say the things you have made up and pretended I did say. I did say "a kid"; I did not say "just a kid". I did say "that's assault if you do it in the street"; I did not accuse anyone of assault.

This is getting tiresome - and I imagine for other people too.

This is the point of the argument that you tried to twist the other way.
Nope. You've zoned in on the "kid" because you had nothing else, and now you're trying to beat that argument which I never even made.

Some professional footballers are children. If this fact is inconvenient for you, that's life.

I don't have an issue with you, personally, nor do I display an attitude. Maybe it's lost in your interpretation of my tone.
Then why are you making up things I didn't say and pretending I said them, and attacking points that I haven't made (and points I have made but you've decided mean things other than the ones stated in the words used)?


I suggest if you want to carry this on, do so outside this thread, so the rest of the participants can continue discussing the football.

And it's still not. I respected the match, and found it entertaining, unlike most English fans.
From the looks of social media, and this thread, most English fans and most neutrals seem to have enjoyed the game - and quite a few people have been won over by the England players (and turned off by the Italian ones)... even some Scottish people, which is unusual.

Of course the racists on social media and the ones smashing up streets and beating their spouses and children didn't, but 🤬 'em.

Edit: And some prick's
attacked Lando Norris...
 
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To give Jorginho a red card, then we had to go back in time and also give a red card to Kalvin Phillips (I think) for an equally dangerous tackle on Toni Kroos. So in this case, there was some kind of consistency.

Also the shirt pulling thing, is pretty common and nowhere is specified which part of the shirt being pulled is condemned with a red or yellow card. I don't think anyone would give it a red card honestly.

As for England, yes, they have a lot of offensive talent, but how many times have we seen a team with really strong attacking players, completely stacked squads, and they didn't win a single trophy? Argentina won Copa America with the worst team they probably have had for like a decade. They just won because Brazil also had their worst team in years.

Anyways, people complain about Southgate, yet he reached the final "his way". After the game, everyone will point the finger saying he should have done this or that, but that's the easy part. The truth is, if he had started with a more attack minded team, England might have never reached the final. We could discuss this all day for almost every team in the tournament, complaining about every little detail and what could or should have been different.
 

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Ronaldo won the golden boot over Schick as he had one assist and Schick sadly didn't provide any.

Donnarumma won player of the tournament with Spain's Pedri winning young player of the tournament, which is no surprise there as he was brilliant!

Don't think the team of the tournament has been announced yet, there is one circulating on the socials but its not on UEFA's website.
 
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These are all explicitly covered in section 12.
Does section 12 say these offences are violent conduct?
It depends on the offence, but again by the letter of section 12, "violent conduct" is a dismissable offence, while "serious foul play" is not necessarily so. There is an explicit difference again, wherein the former is an act that places the player in danger and the latter is an act that does not adequately consider a player's safety.

As we've seen, the application is wildly inconsistent 😆 That is, after all, why we have good and bad referees. Words are more important, as they convey
I think the refereeing and VAR were pretty good.

I agree that words are most important. My point, however, is that many of the laws of football don't hold up to scrutiny. It's why we hear of the latest foul to be clamped down on every year. The rules of football are full of inconsistencies.
I'm not sure I've seen an outright contradictory one
Off the top of my head is the straight arm to the face gets a yellow card. It's a kind of halfway house between not allowing people to elbow others and acknowledging that people use their arms to jump. It's more violent than any shirt pull imo.
do you consider yanking a player back by the collar so that it is taut around his throat to be an act which places the player in danger, or one which does not adequately consider hi
It looks violent. It's not intended, but that doesn't matter. Was he in danger? Is a shirt pull dangerous? At the moment I don't think FIFA thin it is, therefore the ref was correct not to issue a red card.
 
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It looks violent. It's not intended, but that doesn't matter. Was he in danger? Is a shirt pull dangerous? At the moment I don't think FIFA thin it is, therefore the ref was correct not to issue a red card.
You're saying that he didn't intend to pull on Saka's shirt collar, despite clearly judging it as Saka passed, reaching out and grabbing it as he passed, and then deliberately pulling backwards to slam him down was not intended? Ok then......

It was only by blind luck that Chiellini's boot didn't strike him in the head.

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Famine

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Does section 12 say these offences are violent conduct?
Long story short: yes, if they meet the test for violent conduct, but no if they do not.
I think the refereeing and VAR were pretty good.
The implementation of VAR was certainly better than it has been in the Premier League this season. I know people who've sworn off watching any live football now, because they don't know when their emotions and reactions are real any more!
I agree that words are most important. My point, however, is that many of the laws of football don't hold up to scrutiny. It's why we hear of the latest foul to be clamped down on every year. The rules of football are full of inconsistencies.
Not so much. They certainly get upgraded quite regularly, as the organic parts find new ways to skirt them, but they don't seem to have any major gaps to my knowledge.
Off the top of my head is the straight arm to the face gets a yellow card. It's a kind of halfway house between not allowing people to elbow others and acknowledging that people use their arms to jump.
Now... I can't actually find that as a written rule. IFAB Law 12 only mentions arm/face contact once, and it's under "violent conduct":
In addition, a player who, when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was negligible.
How that's interpreted by a governing body, and how it instructs its referees to call it, is a different matter - and I think that's actually what you're talking about here with inconsistencies.

It may be that UEFA mandates across Europe, or even a body below that like IFA/FA within its nation, that the straight arm isn't a red, because it dictates that a straight arm uses negligible force compared to an elbow, therefore it's not violent conduct. I don't know, and I can't say for sure, but IFAB doesn't actually lay that down in the laws of the game. It's an interpretation of that from the law, which fits the law but which isn't specifically noted and which may differ between nations or confederations.

This also applies to the "last man" thing we've seen in this thread. It's an extremely common rule - if the defender is the last man and hoiks the opposing player down, it's a red - but it's not actually a law. IFAB only decrees that the "number and position of defenders" is taken into account; confederations and national associations almost always interpret that as last man = red.

That's actually why we hear a lot of the time of teams and players "getting away with" stuff in Europe they wouldn't in the PL (or vice versa). Both operate under IFAB's laws, but the PL is governed by the FA's interpretation of it and ECL/EL by UEFA's interpretation.

It looks violent. It's not intended, but that doesn't matter. Was he in danger? Is a shirt pull dangerous? At the moment I don't think FIFA thin it is, therefore the ref was correct not to issue a red card.
In this case it'd be UEFA's interpretation of the IFAB law, and direction to its referees - and referees aren't perfect at implementing the interpretation. All we can say is the referee, or assistant referee who was literally right there, or anyone else who reviewed it (did it go to VAR? I don't know) didn't believe so, and that's that.

Personally, I regard a shirt pull as extremely dangerous, because - even though it's brief - it can kill, in the wrong conditions, though thankfully a loss of consciousness is more common. Basically a sudden neck trauma which constricts the carotid sinus (where you put your fingers to take your neck pulse) leads to instant syncope; it's actually sometimes taught as a self-defence technique, where you slap the attacker on both sides with the edge of your hands. In some cases, particularly those with undiagnosed cardiac function issues (such as footballers Fabrice Muamba and Abdelhak Nouri, and possibly Christian Eriksen, though I'm not aware of anything coming from that just yet), combined with a high heart rate (such as during a football match), it can cause instant death, known as CiRCA.

Of course it's very rare (I am familiar with a single case in real life, and it was a youngster; Edit: two, both kids, with LongQT as an underlying for the other one), but very much a real thing - usually it's just deeply unpleasant, as anyone who's ever been yanked back by the collar will tell you! - but part of why I'd regard any deliberate action against the neck (and head) as over the line.

I fully appreciate people might not agree, and it does come down to how one interprets that line between what is violent conduct (endangering a player through a deliberate act) and what is foul play (disregarding player safety while acting).
 
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Liquid

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I'm worried about this crop of England players actually going out and winning something.