Alternative title: Please explain why the situation leading to Antonio Valencia's red card was not also a foul on Lucas Digne's part.
In yesterday's match Ecuador - France, around the 49th minute a situation occured that looked to me like this (see this FIFA "highlights" video from second 41):
- Player Y (yellow) has played the ball and is running after it.
- Player W (white) throws himself, feet first, towards the ball (and Y's running direction), perpendicularly and with no chance of controlling the ball, but some chance of reaching it and changing its direction.
- Player Y, with coming W into his way, seems to slowdown slightly, but still extends one leg towards the ball, reaching it the same time as W. His foot lands on the ball, slides off it, lands on W's knee, potentially injuring him.
- After some time for treatment of W, referee sends Y off (red card), to no protests from him or his team (presumably the scene has been replayed in super-slow motion several times on screens in the stadium by then).
But what was Y supposed to do in that situation? If he had tried to get his front leg onto the grass, given W's momentum it would have ended up under him and Y would have fallen over him with no chance of using his legs to soften the fall (unless risking stepping onto W with the other leg).
Extending his leg further in hope of landing past W would mean risking injury to this leg (and falling anyway, too). Note that this was a split-second decision to take.
I realize it would have been the gentleman-ly thing to do to take the harder fall, but either way I look at it, W's action should have knocked Y off his feet. Why is this not a foul?