“He wouldn’t eliminate a man from Zenit”. Why was Alexandrov punished?

The most talked-about event in Russian football on Saturday was, of course, the removal of Viktor Alexandrov in the Pari NN match “Zenith”. After the Nizhny Novgorod defender was forced to leave the field, his team sank sharply and could not withstand the onslaught of the champion, although before that he confidently defended. Alexandrov himself violently reacted to the final decision of the judge, made after reviewing the video, by tearing off his shirt and indignantly going to the locker room. But did he have a reason for such a reaction? Opinions were divided on this.

“We will ask the judiciary questions”

Naturally, the representatives of Pari NN are outraged by such an interpretation of the rules. Sergei Yuran at a post-match press conference said that if a similar situation had happened at the Zenit gate, the referee would not have shown a yellow card, calling his confidence in this outcome of events 200 percent. The Nizhny Novgorod coach insists that the ball was thrown away from the goal and there was no deprivation of a clear scoring opportunity, which implies the “foul of last resort” rule. Yuran also drew attention to the fact that the chief judge was next to the episode and, in his opinion, Sergey Ivanov did not need to consult the VAR room.

In turn, the general director of Paris NN David Melik-Guseinov said in an interview with Sport 24 that the club will raise an issue with the leadership of our football about the legitimacy of showing Aleksandrov a red card, and by Monday a decision will be made whether to file a formal appeal or limit oneself to an attempt at dialogue.

“Bakaev could score”

In turn, the representatives of the judiciary unanimously assure that the red card was shown correctly. Former referee Igor Fedotov notes in his Telegram channel that Bakaev kept the ball under control and could, cutting off the corner, hit the goal with the next touch, so Pavel Kukuyan’s decision to call Sergey Ivanov to the monitor was legitimate.

Support a colleague and Sergei Lapochkin, who on the air of “Match Premier” said that he had no questions about the action of the judges in this episode, since Bakaev could score with the next touch. Whatever happened, whether Alexandrov did not break the rules, we will not know, but so far the dispute over this incident resembles a clash of interests of the “victims” and the “corporate solidarity” of former referees.

Interpretation issues

The main obstacle in this situation is the modern interpretation of the “foul of last resort” rule by the judges. If earlier the referees only pulled a red card out of their pocket in the event of a clean one-on-one with the goalkeeper, now the presence of defenders behind the ball line, provided that the attacker has full control of the ball, is enough to drive the offender away. The question of how fair this is is quite debatable, but at the moment the rules provide for just such a view of the situation.

Moreover, Nizhny Novgorod could well have avoided everything that happened: the attack of Zenit, which led to the sending off, began with a sharp cut of the home team in their own half. And not to mention later how difficult it is to play outnumbered against the champion for almost half, you can get your defensive actions in order first.

Now it remains to wait for the official reaction of Pari NN to the decision made in the form of a denunciation – and then the regulatory bodies of our football will be forced to spend time on an official analysis of the episode. Otherwise, the emotional reaction of Nizhny Novgorod residents to the pursuit will remain just words spoken in the heat of the moment.


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