PostHeaderIcon Jermaine Jones and Referee collision – was anyone in the wrong?

The world watched USA’s Jermaine Jones and the referee collide in the USA versus Germany match on June 26th, 2014. Were either of them in the wrong?

Jermaine Jones of USA runs into the referee

There has been some debate about this on Facebook among my international friends. Some say the referee was not running the proper diagonal, some say he should not have been in front of the attacking wave and I point out he really was not doing either wrong based on what was going on at that time.

In the first half, Jermaine Jones of USA slammed into Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov, and ended up falling to the ground. We will not go into how he ran head first into a teammate in the second half.  Jermaine was was making his way to the goal as he looked right towards where the ball and play continued.  The referee was also looking forward and right towards the ball and play making his way more towards the goal instead of way left on a true diagonal.

My opinion is that the referee was getting closer to the action with the chance a foul could be committed in the box requiring a penalty.  Had he been too far left he may have missed it or questioned for making a call from that distance.  Straight from the FIFA website under Law 5 for the referee

in practice the nest position is never known in advance. It is revealed after the fact as “best” only if it has enabled the referee to see what was needed to be seen.  Accordingly, all recommendations about positioning are based on probabilities and must be adjusted using specific information about the teams, the players….

Officially the referee is considered as part of the pitch and play at all times.  Balls that bounce off of him as well as running into him are part of normal play. No stoppage of any kind is required. Because of this it makes no difference what his placement was on the field.

I do not think either one was wrong and clearly were so busy concentrating on the play itself they did not look where they were going.  Jermaine Jones could have easily ran into a German player or a teammate.  If he had been a German player that was looking away would we have the same discussion or laugh at the simple incident? Or would we think the German player was trying to take him down?

Feel free to discuss below.

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