It’s not often that PRO calls out their own referees. In their latest video reviewing some of the more controversial calls from Week 12, though, they came about as close as they could to doing just that to fan-favorite Daniel Radford.
As you probably know by now, Radford was the VAR official in charge when the Sounders hosted Orlando City on May 15. He was also the official who suggested head referee Dave Gantar take a closer look at Handwalla Bwana’s goal. To be clear, Radford had good reason to look at the play more closely. At full speed, it did look like Nicolas Lodeiro may have handled the ball during the build up.
But as the video above shows, Gantar saw that and thought it was incidental contact and even feels compelled to remind Radford that, “Hey this is PRO, you have show to show me it’s deliberate here.” The problems start to arise when Radford takes nearly four minutes before deciding he thinks it was a handball and directing Gantar to take a closer look himself. The angles Gantar is shown, however, are nothing like definitive. Not only do they show no purposeful by Lodeiro, it’s not even clear if his hand actually touches the ball.
To PRO’s credit, they call this out. Greg Barkey, the organization’s manager of video review, also points out that even though reviews have stretched beyond two minutes this year, this one took more than twice as long. Barkey also notes that “there is a point where any infraction is not considered clear if it’s taking so long to come to a conclusion.”
Although PRO does not make internal discipline public, it’s notable that Radford is not on any referee crews this week.