Think leading with the elbow shouldn’t be a red? Watch this Russian clip
If you’re wondering why leading with the elbow is a red, then you should take a look at this clip from Russia.
Leading with the elbow has long been a red carding offence, but it’s clear that in the last decades referees have come down particularly hard on it, even before the clamp down on head contacts that have changed the game in recent years.
It’s an act that is generally perceived to be governed by Law 10.4(a) – “A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).” and law 10.4(m) – ” A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.”
It could also be governed more broadly by Dangerous Play subsection of Law 9: “Players must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others.”
Most refs will allow ‘bouncing players’, provided that the arm of the attacking player is tucked in close to his body.
In this clip, the elbow isn’t tucked and coming flying up into the face and throat of the would-be tackler. It lead to a significant injury and hospitalisation for the player hit with the elbow.
So maybe it’s not that soft a decision after all.