PEN

Penalty or a dive?

WHEN IS a challenge deemed to be a dive, a penalty, and then (possibly) not a penalty? When it’s caught on the Jewish News video camera! As Temple Fortune’s Michael Goldberg ran into the box and fell under the challenge of Hendon B’s James Neidle during their Barry Goldstein Trophy tie at the weekend, referee Martin Fox blew up straight away and booked Goldberg for diving. Asking to see the video of the incident once the match had finished, he held his hand up, admitted he made the wrong call and said he’d rescind the card. Less than 24 hours later, that decision was effectively rescinded when it was correctly pointed out by the league that a referee doesn’t have the right to withdraw a caution once it’s been issued and that video evidence isn’t acceptable in respect of cautions. Common sense could have dictated the booking being wiped from the record books, but FA laws state that’s not possible. But the controversy didn’t end there. Was it a dive or a penalty, or neither? Sixty percent of those who viewed the incident on our website think it was the former, while comments from other players, managers and referees are far from unanimous in their verdict. Judge for yourself at jewishnews.co.uk

AS BIG football weeks go, this one doesn’t get much bigger. Israel, in their quest to reach a first major championship since 1970, have two massive games coming up this week, first against Wales on Saturday, and then Belgium on Tuesday. Captain Tal Ben Haim told me last week that they have a ‘good chance to qualify’ and four points from the six on offer will certainly push them a great deal closer to booking their place in France next summer. Closer to home, it’s all about one game when Hendon A and Norstar A clash in their top-of-the-table Premier Division clash. Hendon go into the game with a three-point lead, though have played two games more. A win for either should settle the title in their favour. 10am at Hatfield, let battle commence.

Penalty or dive?