The finalists of the Serbian League will be known tomorrow after the third games of the semifinals.
Partizan upset Novi Beograd on Saturday, while Radnicki narrowly beat Crvena Zvezda, and both series will end tomorrow.
But, Radnicki feels a bitter taste after a win over Crvena Zvezda. The Kragujevac-based team will play without two key players. At the start of the game, Josip Vrlic had his jaw broken. He won’t be able to play for a month. Radnicki can’t count on Luka Plevancic because his nose was broken after Crvena Zvezda’s player punched him over the water at the match’s finish.
Nobody was excluded when Vrlic was injured because the referees didn’t see the foul. The other foul was characterized as an exclusion with substitution.
Foul on Vrlic
Radnicki will be without two players, but nobody in the Belgrade team was punished. All fouls and cards awarded during the game were sanctioned according to the data from the scoresheet.
There have been similar non-sanctioned situations and fouls in water polo games worldwide. It doesn’t matter if the fouls were intentional or not. These situations have long-term and short-term consequences and impacts on the players, clubs, competitions…
The game Radnicki – Crvena Zvezda is one of many reasons for asking “How to protect players?” and “Are the players and their health protected?”
Water polo is a rough sport, and injuries, unfortunately, aren’t rare. Many duels happen under the water, and the referees can’t see everything. Mistakes are always possible, especially in high-tense games.
Foul on Pljevancic
But is it possible to fix mistakes?
The VAR Technology is helpful. It makes the referees’ work easier and makes mistakes less likely.
But, VAR is used only in major competitions. This expensive technology hasn’t even been included as an assistance to referees even in the LEN Champions League. The day when VAR will be obligated in all national competitions isn’t near.
Still, all professional clubs are obligated to record all their games. Incidents of violent play should be reviewed after the match and appropriately sanctioned.
Let’s ask again, “How to protect players?” and “Are the players and their health protected?”
If intentional and unintentional violent fouls, which cause hard injuries, remain non-sanctioned, water polo can’t progress.