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Soccer Referee Questions on Soccer Rules
Welcome to -- a Soccer Law Question and Answer site. Providing answers to questions regarding soccer laws since October 11, 1999... to ask a question simply click on Ask the Ref in the menu bar and pose your question and the panel will reply. Those who have ideas or articles please feel free to contact the editor Richard Dawson at with suggestions.

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/20/2021

RE: Old-timer player, and ref for youth to adult rec a

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, British Columbia Canada asks...

Continuing with my recordings of the 2021 Euro Cup final, here are three fouls.

The first is a clear error, I feel. The second is the correct call. The third: the no-call on Sterling's fall in the penalty area, is debatable.

Here we go:

Obvious impeding with contact here. England #12 leaves the ball to hammer the Italian player.

England is rewarded with the throw-in.

Bad no-call.

Your thoughts?

Italy #13 chests the ball, but the spin causes it to contact his arm.

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Mechanics 7/20/2021

RE: Old-timer player and ref for youth to adult rec an

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, British Columbia Canada asks...

Hello again.

I found some useful clips while watching the Euro final. With the TV in PVR mode, I could rewind, then shoot the clips on my phone, then them on my website. (I hope they will play via here.)

The first three regard offside and where the infraction is called and the ball spotted. This would add extra detail to my question at 34255.

Clearly, the AR follows the ball and gets the flag up when the offside player touches the ball (or otherwise becomes involved in play.) The ball is then spotted where the touch, or involvement, occurred.

Italian player is offside and the England free kick is spotte...

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Law 5 - The Referee 7/15/2021

RE: Under 19

Larry of DANVILLE, CA US asks...

Law 5 states the referee “punishes the more serious offense, in terms of sanction, restart, physical severity and impact, when more than one offense occurs at the same time”. This makes since when two players are both fouling each other and you decide one of them was worse than the other, but how about when team A commits a careless foul and before you have a chance to blow your whistle a team B player slugs the team A player. What if the violent conduct happens immediately after you blow your whistle? What if it happens several seconds after your call? Who gets these restarts?...

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Law 10 - Determining the Outcome of a Match 7/10/2021

RE: Euros Professional

VAR fan of Bergen, Norway asks...

What's your take on the antics during the KFTPM coin tosses in the Italy - Spain semifinal?

Where would you draw the line for similar behaviour?

This is the last one for now.
Thank you so much for this wonderful resource!

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Mechanics 7/9/2021

RE: Euros Professional

VAR fan of Bergen, Norway asks...

Thanks for you thoughtful answers!

Re Sweden:
I'm curious, given the disagreement seen afterwards, even between referees, why this was considered a "clear and obvious error". I'm guessing this kind of incident has been mentioned in the pre-tournament briefings.
I feel it is a close call. I think the reason many observers like myself lean towards yellow is that it isn't perceived as a challenge, but as a kick on the ball. It certainly feels very different than a late challenge with the same points of contact. Essentially it was not a "tackle or challenge using excessive force" in part because it was not a tackle or challenge. I see referee Dawson's response touches on some of these issues.

Re Denmark:
I ...

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Law 14 - The Penalty kick 7/9/2021

RE: Pro Other

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

Just wanting your opinion on the extra time penalty in the England/Denmark match.

For me it is a clear penalty. Contact was made by Maehle to the leg of Sterling, which stopped his attack. IMO anybody that thinks this is a "soft foul" and not worthy of a free kick does not understand physics....

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Law 5 - The Referee 7/9/2021

RE: Competitive Adult

Peter Babbage of Hjorring , Denmark asks...

A couple of questions arising from the England v Denmark game if I may. Firstly, the Danish players were standing almost on the toes of the defensive wall when they scored. Obviously the best scenario is for the ref to shift them before the kick is taken. This didn’t happen and they scored. What should have happened? Is it a re-take or an indirect free kick to England? Next leading up to one of the goals England attacked down the right and there was another ball on the field. Should the ref have stopped play and had it removed ( that would have been popular!) or as happened as it had no real impact on the play let it go?...

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Mechanics 7/8/2021

RE: Euros Professional

VAR fan of Bergen, Norway asks...

I have some questions relating to VAR and some decisions in the ongoing Euros.

1) The red card against Sweden seemed harsh. It may have been reckless (yellow), but any excessive force seemed to originate from the player from Ukraine running into the situation.

2) When this situation, as well as a correct red from earlier in the tournament was reviewed, the on-field review started with a still image of the point of contact, followed by slow-motion replay. As the point was to review the intensity of the challenges this does not match the published VAR protocol. What's you're take on this?

(I was impressed by the DOGSO review against the Netherlands. That was VAR at its finest.)

3) England's penalty...

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Law 5 - The Referee 6/29/2021

RE: Pro Adult

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

Can a referee warn a player who has already been booked in the match? I think there is no rule that prevents it but in any case, would it be acceptable for a referee to warn an already-booked player? ...

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Mechanics 6/28/2021

RE: Pro Professional

Steve Debus of Crofton , Maryland YSA asks...

I have a question about timing for VAR reviews. In France vs Switzerland today, the CR did not call a foul for Switzerland at the edge of the French PA and France counterattacked. At the end of that counterattack, Switzerland started to break out and that is when play was stopped by the VAR for review of the initial no call and the penalty was awarded. What would have happened if France had scored on their initial counterattack? Part of the French advantage on that attack was the quick change in direction after the foul non-call. Would that mean after VAR the subsequent French goal would be disallowed?...

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