A half Century of penalties.

As the NB1 has hit the 50 mark of penalties we decided to have a look at all of the penalties given and analyse them while we were at it. It’s a joint effort between Chris Barrett and myself, bmb. Chris is the statto, he does the research, the lists, the boring part while I get to sit and watch the highlights of the football & decide if the ref was right or wrong!

So far this season, out of 50 penalties given, 37 of them have been converted.  The biggest benefactor of spot kicks has been Honvéd with six, while Balmazújváros have had 8 calls go against them.  Four players have each scored four penalties (Josip Knezevic – Puskás, Soma Novothny – Újpest, and Roland Varga – Ferencváros) to lead this category, while Honvéd’s Davide Lanzafame is the only player to have missed twice thus far.  Videoton’s Ádám Kovacsik has been in goal when four kicks against him were wasted (2 saved and 2 missed).  Haladás Gábor Kiraly and Lubos Kamenar of Vasas have also each saved two penalties.

So let’s have a look at how each referee has performed with the really big decisions!

Viktor Kassai: 11 games, 5 penalties – average 0.45/game

12 Aug 17 MD5 – Danko Lazovic 90+6’ Videoton v Debreceni VSC
I feel this one was a little bit harsh, it was a 50:50 situation with 2 players coming together and both players were pulling at each other, Henty was pulled down to the floor though. Correct decision within the LOTG.

30 Sep 2017 MD11 – D. Lanzafame 22’ Budapest Honvéd v Vasas
Foul by Vaskó 5 seconds after coming on as sub! Correct decision. The penalty was missed.

25 Nov 2017 MD17 – Danko Lazovic 32’ Videoton v Paksi FC
Clear foul & a very easy decision for Mr Kassai. Correct decision.

9 Dec 2017 MD19 – Márió Németh 44’ Szombathelyi Haladás v Videoton
Clear foul and a correct decision. The penalty was saved.

9 Dec 2017 MD19 – Danko Lazovic 56’ Szombathelyi Haladás v Videoton
Clear foul and a correct decision. Saved by Király.

This is what we like to see, 5/5 penalty decisions correct from our top referee, giving him a fantastic 100% accuracy level. Interestingly 3/5 of the penalties he gave were saved!

Tamás Bognár: 12 games, 5 penalties – average 0.42/game

9 Sep 2017 MD8 – Roland Varga 90+3’ Ferencváros v Vasas
Dreadful tackle, couldn’t haven’t argued at a red card let alone the yellow – correct.

14 Oct 2017 MD12 – Josip Knezevic 86’ Puskás Akademia v Ferencváros
Given for a push but incorrect imo. On the camera angle that would have been similar to the referees view, from the front and to the right, Otigba’s arm was slightly by Balogh’s waist but his other arm was blocked from view by Balogh. Given the way Balogh went to ground like he had been shot, it is easy to understand why the referee has assumed a push from the arm hidden from view and pointed to the spot. The AAR’s view was obscured by several players so he was unable to assist. A different camera angle, not available to the referee at the time, showed there was in fact no push. Wrong call but I can understand why the referee called it.

9 Dec 2017 MD19 – Daniel Tozser 82’ Diósgyőri VTK v Debreceni VSC
The defender seemed to trip but did take out 2 strikers when going down and it can easily be argued as correct in law but very harsh, imo as I feel it was more of a coming together than a foul per se. It cannot be classed as a wrong call though so correct.

10 Mar 2018 MD22 – Roland Varga 45+2’ Ferencváros v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Player hauled to the ground – correct decision.

10 Mar 2018 MD22 – Dániel Böde 60’ Ferencváros v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Clear foul and a correct decision. Saved by the goalkeeper.

4/5 penalty calls right, imo, for Mr Bognár. The one he did call wrong he was unlucky with angles and line of vision and for me is an understandable error as opposed to a dreadful decision.

István Vad II: 7 games 5 penalties average 0.71/game

8 Oct 2017 MD14 – D. Lanzafame 51’ Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő v Budapest Honvéd
A bit harsh, imo, the keeper had a right to come out for the ball but it has to be said that he had no control once he was in the air and clattered into Gazdag and therefore it is a correct decision.

2 Dec 2017 MD18 – Myke Ramos 14’ Puskás Akademia Akademia v Haladas
Very soft penalty. Minimal contact, a little nudge in the back and the player went down like he’d been shot! Can’t call it wrong in law though so therefore a correct decision.

3 Mar 2018 MD21 – Soma Novothny 4’ Újpest v Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE
Having stopped a corner being taken and warned the players regarding their conduct (pushing, shoving, and knocking Novothny to the floor), Vad signalled for it to be taken. However, Hudák carried on and hauled Novothny to the floor again! Correct decision and a classic case of player stupidity!

3 Mar 2018 MD21 – Márk Koszta 78’ Újpest v Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE
Pajovic out of position and hauled Koszta down, easy decision for the ref and a correct decision.

10 Mar 2018 MD22 – N. Ioannidis 76’ Videoton v Diósgyőri VTK
A minimal nudge in the back and I feel was a bit harsh but technically correct in law. The penalty was saved.

5/5 penalty calls right for Mr Vad. 3 of them are what I would personally consider to be rather soft or a bit on the harsh side but the more important fact is that they were all correct within the Laws of the game.

Ádám Farkas: 12 games 6 penalties – average 0.5/game

23 Jul 2017 MD2 – Marko Scepovic 60’ Puskás Akademia v Videoton
Scepovic backed into the Puskás player who then grabbed Scepovic’s shirt as he went down and also hauled him down. Correct decision

26 Aug 2017 MD7 – Josip Knezevic 53’ Szombathelyi Haladás v Puskás Akademia
Got this one completely wrong in my opinion. Király had won the ball fairly and was on floor, Knezevic challenged for the ball, which Király was holding, which is in itself an offence within the LOTG, and went down. My opinion is it should have been a free kick to Haladás and a yellow card for Knezevic. Completely wrong and unfathomably so.

16 Sep 2017 MD9 – D. Lanzafame 33’ Budapest Honvéd v Ferencváros
Cynical foul by Botká – correct decision.

28 Oct 2017 MD14 – Josip Knezevic 74’ Puskás Akademia v Vasas
Clear foul and a correct decision. The penalty was saved.

4 Nov 2017 MD15 – Bachana Arabuil 90+5’ Diósgyőri VTK v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
The footage of this one is not very clear and the angle is terrible but judging by player reaction was given for a deliberate handball. I suspect that it was called by the AAR Zierkelbach Péter as it was on the blindside of the ref but right in front of AAR. There were no real protests against the decision so I am going to assume that it was a correct call.

18 Nov 2017 MD16 – Marko Scepovic 65’ Debreceni VSC v Videoton
Arm around the neck and hauled to the ground, most definitely a correct call!

5/6 correct for Mr Farkas. His one wrong call is simply unfathomable, he had a clear and unobstructed view and I am at a loss as to what he thought he saw to give it.

Sándor Andó-Szabó: 12 games 4 penalties – average 0.33/game

26 Aug 2017 MD7 – Roland Ugrai 90+3’ Diósgyőri VTK v Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE
Clear foul – correct decision.

9 Sep 2017 MD8 – Josip Knezevic 49’ Újpest v Puskás Akademia
Foul by Branko and a correct decision.

14 Oct 2017 2017 MD12 – Márton Eppel 45’ Szombathelyi Haladás v Budapest Honvéd
There was a foul but he went down a bit too easily for my liking! Correct decision.

21 Oct 2017 MD13 – Mohamed Remeli 59’ Vasas v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Deliberate handball, I feel it was a bit harsh but correct with the LOTG.

4/4 correct decisions for Mr Andó-Szabó.

Ferenc Karakó: 7 games 3 pen – average 0.43/game

15 Jul 2017 MD15 – Dénes Szakály 16’ Paksi FC v Újpest
Footage not clear, looks like given for a push but very soft, not incorrect in LOTG though. Pen missed.

10 Mar 2018 MD22 – Lajos Bertus 61’ Paksi FC v Puskás Akademia
Back leg taken out – correct decision.

10 Mar 2018 MD22 – Lajos Bertus 64’ Paksi FC v Puskás Akademia
A bit harsh but correct

3/3 correct decisions for Mr Karakó.

Péter Solymosi: 10 games 6 penalties – average 0.6/game

22 Jul 2017 MD2 – Diego Vela 41’ Budapest Honvéd v Diósgyőri VTK
Clear trip – good decision

30 Jul 2017 MD3 – Roland Varga 29’ Ferencváros v Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE
Late tackle by Farkas – correct decision

19 Aug 2017 MD6 – Bachana Arabuli 64’ Puskás Akademia v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Clear foul, correct decision

23 Sep 2017 MD10 – Soma Novothny 86’ Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE v Újpest
Clear foul, correct decision.

23 Sep 2017 MD10 – Dániel Nagy 81’ Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE v Újpest
Deliberate handball, correct decision. The penalty was saved.

28 Oct 2017 MD14 – Patrik Tischler 90+2’ Újpest v Videoton
Clear foul by Nego, correct decision. The penalty was saved.

6/6 correct for Mr Solymosi

Zoltán Iványi: 14 games 3 penalties – average 0.21/game

18 Aug 2017 MD6 – Daniel Tozser 27’ Debreceni VSC v Vasas
Clear foul – correct decision

30 Sep 2017 MD11 – Roland Varga 78’ Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő v Ferencváros
Foul by Uzoma for me it was minimal contact and Paintsil went down a bit too easy but correct in law.

24 Feb 2017 MD20 – D. Lanzafame 70’ Ferencváros v Budapest Honvéd
Given for push on Lanzafame who went to ground like he had been shot. My initial reaction was there was not enough contact for a fall like that, it was very exaggerated. I think this one was called by AAR Radványi Ádám over the comms judging by the long delay before the whistle went, Mr Iványi had given no advantage signal so he was not waiting to see if an advantage had accrued before giving it. Replays show there was no contact and confirm that Lanzafame went down to coin a phrase favoured by pundits “anticipating contact” so it was a wrong decision. Neither the AAR or referee had access to those replays until after the match in their own debrief. Justice was served as the penalty was saved.

2/3 correct for Mr Iványi. The 1 wrong decision he was partially let down by one of his team but more importantly that team member was conned by a player cheating on that occasion, not something I like to see.

Zsolt Szabó: 11 games 6 penalties – average 0.55/game

22 Jul 2017 MD2 – Marek Strestik 77’ Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE v Paksi FC
Clear hand ball, the player used his hand to hit the ball out of play – good decision.

12 Aug 2017 MD5 – David Williams 24’ Szombathelyi Haladás v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Late tackle – correct decision

26 Aug 2017 MD7 – Daniel Tozser 27’ Budapest Honvéd v Debreceni VSC
On first reflection this one might seem harsh, Barath dived into a tackle but made no contact, player was forced to jump over him to avoid being taken out and went down. Had Barath made contact it would have been straight red and potentially a career ending injury for the player forced to jumped out of the way. Fans are always keen to ignore the words “or attempts to” written in the LOTG and shout there was no contact or he played the ball but this was a completely correct decision.

30 Sep 2017 MD11 – Bence Iszlai 71’ Szombathelyi Haladás v Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE
I do feel this one was a bit soft but there was some holding and a very small push so correct in law. The penalty was missed.

21 Oct 2017 MD13 – Roland Ugrai 78’ Diósgyőri VTK v Budapest Honvéd
I can’t be sure on this one as the footage is terrible but there doesn’t look to me to be contact on this viewing & I can’t help but feel he was conned. I can’t say it was wrong though without seeing a better angle or closer up footage so will give him the benefit of the doubt. The penalty was saved.

21 Oct 2017 MD13 – N. Ioannidis 90+4’ Diósgyőri VTK v Budapest Honvéd
Kick to the face by Bobál – this one was definitely correct!

6/6 correct for Mr Szabó.

I want to just mention a decision made by Mr Szabó in the Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE v Paksi FC game on MD2, prior to the penalty call. In a previous passage of play Mr Szabó played an absolutely sublime advantage, there was a foul which could easily have been a penalty but he held off on the whistle just for a split second to allow an immediate shot on goal, which resulted in a goal for Mezőkövesd-Zsóry SE. I suspect he would have correctly pulled play back for a penalty if the shot had been missed. This was a superb decision from an experienced referee and backs up the argument about not retiring referees just due to their age as long as their fitness levels are good enough to pass the fitness test and their decision making remains accurate. You cannot buy experience and a less experienced referee is probably about 95% more likely to have blown for the foul and given the penalty rather than trusting their judgement on allowing a split second advantage. This for me remains the standout best decision this season so far. Well done Mr Szabó.

József Erdös: 13 games 3 penalties – average 0.23/game

Nov 2017 MD17 – Martin Ádám 81’ Vasas v Debreceni VSC
There was minimal contact and in no way enough for the player to go down like he had been shot so a very harsh decision albeit still correct within the LOTG.

2 Dec 2017 MD18 – Soma Novothny 67’ Újpest v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
This is an interesting one as there were 2 separate incidents in same passage of play that happened simultaneously, firstly a minimal push/obstruction off the ball on Simon and secondly Novothny got kicked as he went for the ball. I think the penalty was actually given for the incident with Simon, which for me was actually the lesser of the 2 incidents! A penalty was however the completely correct decision.

2 Dec 2017 MD18 – Soma Novothny 79’ Újpest v Balmaz Kamilla Gyógyfürdő
Handball by Tamás preventing goal from being scored. I do feel on the one hand that it was a bit harsh as I’m not 100% convinced it was a deliberate handball, it was from a very close range and Tamás had no chance to avoid the contact. A red card had to be given once the penalty was called, that is mandatory in this instance. It was not an incorrect decision though because the directive given to referees by FIFA is that if a goal is scored or saved with a hand (other than the goalkeeper obviously) deliberate or not then either the goal has to be disallowed or a penalty given. It is an area of the Law that I have an issue with and not Mr Erdös’s decision making.

3/3 correct for Mr Erdös.

Gergely Szöts: 4 games 2 penalties – average 0.5/game

10 Sep 2017 MD10 – David Williams 40’ Videoton v Szombathelyi Haladás
Clear foul, correct decision. The penalty was missed.

30 Sep 2017 MD11 – Josip Knezevic 79’ Puskás Akademia v Paksi FC
Clear foul and correct decision.

2/2 correct for Mr Szöts.

Csaba Pintér: 8 games 1 penalty – average 0.13/game

10 Sep 2017 MD10 – D. Lanzafame 41’ Paksi FC v Budapest Honvéd
Deliberate hand ball – correct decision.

1/1 correct for Mr Pintér.

Ádám Németh: 1 game 1 pen – average 1/game

29 Jul 2017 MD3 – Lajos Bertus 68’ Paksi FC v Debreceni VSC
Kinyik hauled Bertus down in the box, he was holding his arm and pulled him to the floor – correct decision.

1/1 correct for Mr Németh.

Balázs Berke: 9 games 0 penalties


Of the 50 penalties given, 47 were correct, a very respectful 94% accuracy level. Of the 3 incorrect decisions, only 1 of them was just completely wrong, a singular poor decision by a referee, as happens occasionally. No different to a player making a poor decision or a manager making a poor tactical choice. Justice was served as the penalty was saved.

The other 2 incorrect decisions were caused directly by player behaviour. On both occasions the respective player went down like he had been shot for no valid reason whatsoever. The media, managers, players and even fans can try and dress it up all they like with popular cliches such as “he felt contact so was entitled to go down”, “he anticipated contact” or whatever other rubbish cliches you can muster up but I prefer to tell it like it is – the players deliberately went to ground in order to deceive the referee into making a decision that they were not entitled to and that is cheating. No more no less. On these 2 occasions they succeeded in cheating their way to a decision and any ire over that should not be directed at the referee who was conned during that split second he had to make a decision but towards the players themselves for cheating. Replays confirmed they had cheated on these 2 occasions, replays that were not available to the respective match officials until after the game.

Overall this reflects very well on our referees, they have a high accuracy level on the really big calls and this is good to see. We both want and need them to be getting the big calls right, a minor wrong call rarely affects the outcome of a game, unlike a big call being called wrong. In some incidences I have described the decision as harsh or the penalty soft, which is merely my opinion, the referee had a different opinion to me and the simple fact is that his was the more important opinion! Where my opinion has differed from the match day referee the only real consideration is whether the penalty was correct within the Laws of the Game or not and as they were they can only be considered as correct decisions.

So well done to the referees, they are getting it right.