Shirt Grab Around Neck

The following clip has been a topic of discussion amongst referees. The debate is, is this tactical or is it violent conduct?

What is tactical? What the book says it is a foul that breaks up a promising attack.

What is violent conduct? It is really not defined in the book, but the difference between violent conduct and serious foul play is that violent conduct does not involve a play on the ball.

We can break it down a bit further and say, that violent conduct may not be a “soccer play”. Spitting, striking, kicking are ones that do not involve the ball and therefore violent conduct.

Now, back to the clip. Some will say this is tactical, fair enough and some will say violent conduct. The question is, is this a “soccer play”? Does the offender have an opportunity to play the ball?—NO. Does the offender need to pull the attacker by the collar around the neck?—NO. Does this endanger the safety of the player?—YES.

The conclusion is that this is not a “soccer play” and must be a red card offense for violent conduct.