CBA: No refereeing miscue in clutch time of Beijing vs Shenzhen game

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BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- A senior referee believes that late controversy in Sunday's Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) match between the Beijing Ducks and the Shenzhen Aviators has nothing to do with refereeing mistakes.

In Sunday's game, Beijing point guard Liu Xiaoyu was ruled to have committed an unsportsmanlike foul with 1.7 seconds left to play after referees reviewed the video replay, which triggered strong protests from the Beijing team as the score was 92-92 at that moment.

"As for the refereeing late in the game, there was no problem with it as match referees handled the incident in accordance with basketball rules and some stipulations and explanations in special circumstances of the league in their procedure and recognition," Yang Maogong, refereeing director of the CBA League Sports Company, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Beijing captain Zhai Xiaochuan constantly questioned the refereeing afterwards. Head coach Xie Libin didn't stop his player's actions but led some players to leave the court without the referees' permission, which interrupted the match.

According to Yang, the refereeing in this game was in line with the principle of "match referee handling emergency", which was laid out as a mechanism of avoiding big refereeing mistakes and attempting to fully restore the situation.

Yang explained that if a significant incident occurred, such as a player suddenly falling down or having his face bloodied, a referee would confirm whether a foul had been overlooked through reviewing the video replay, and mete out further punishment if it was an unsportsmanlike foul, an ejection or a technical foul, but would otherwise not inflict any other punishment.

"Of course we hope to see that referees can detect everything on the court. But in some cases, referees are not fully aware of what has happened due to various reasons, thus leading to some grave mistakes in refereeing. If this took place in match time, referees could remedy and redress it after reviewing the video replay," commented Yang.

As for the case that took place in the Beijing vs Shenzhen game, Yang thought that the referees would not make any remediation if it was regarded as a normal foul, but through the video replay, Liu was found to clearly step his foot under Shenzhen's Askia Booker, leading to the latter's ankle sprain.

In this situation, the game time should be clocked to 1.7 seconds remaining with Booker awarded free throws, and the remaining time should continue to run after his foul shots.

In every case where refereeing has triggered a big controversy, the CBA's referee office calls up a panel of senior referees, coaches and technical representatives to review the case. Five of seven panel members deemed Liu's foul as an unsportsmanlike one, leading to the panel's judgement that refereeing was correct at the time.

Some people thought the refereeing effectively decided the outcome of this match as there was only 1.7 seconds remaining, and that players should be the one who decide the game.

"It is the case only when referees make right decisions at clutch time. Otherwise, it would not be necessary for the referee's presence on the court," said Yang.

A member of the CBA's referee committee, who asked to remain anonymous, echoed Yang's opinion.

"The referees' handling was in accordance with CBA rules and stipulations, and didn't feature any mistake. Beijing's response of attempting to leave the court was not permitted or accepted," he said.

Xie was banned for four games and fined RMB 20,000 (around 3,090 US dollars) for his actions on Monday, while Zhai was fined RMB 30,000 (around 4,630 US dollars). Enditem

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