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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34210

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/28/2021

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


three questions, please.

First: Team A takes a free kick (or corner kick). Defender from team A crosses the goal line and remains standing in his goal. Team A kicks to the ball and the defender returns to the field. Is he in danger of two yellow cards for two intentional offenses?

Second: The attacker leaves the field to avoid the offside. He returns before the action ends. Is it automatically a yellow card?

Third: In the end, maybe a stupid question. :-) Player A kicks player B. The kicked player does not fall to the ground. Does the referee take this into account? Or is it a 100 percent foul? :-)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

H Petr,

(1) a bit hazy on defender/attacker here?
defender or attacker on and off the FOP during corner whilst inside the netted area of the goal is likely nothing to worry about. More likely positioning to see or get around something, it serves no useful purpose in effecting the LOTG in any adverse way? No offside is possible until a second touch resets the criteria and off the FOP inside the netted area is considered on the goal line should he remain there. There MAY be contact /shoving that could affect things?

I have seen the attacker leave the FOP on the right side of the goal and during the corner kick run around to reenter at the left post hoping to lose his defenders. That is cautionable USB.

(2) we generally get more upset at defenders deliberately leaving to trick us to make an offside call than attackers doing it to show their non-involvement.

Quote "A defending player who leaves the field of play without the referee’s permission shall be considered to be on the goal line or touchline for the purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play or until the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area. If the player left the field of play deliberately, the player must be cautioned when the ball is next out of play."

IT might depend on the timing & how & why the attacker steps into touch past the goal line then stepped back across?

Quote "An attacking player may step or stay off the field of play not to be involved in active play. If the player re-enters from the goal line and becomes involved in play before the next stoppage in play or the defending team has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area, the player shall be considered to be positioned on the goal line for the purposes of offside. A player who deliberately leaves the field of play and re-enters without the referee’s permission and is not penalized for offside and gains an advantage must be cautioned.

If an attacking player remains stationary between the goalposts and inside the goal as the ball enters the goal, a goal must be awarded unless the player commits an offside offence or a Law 12 offence, in which case play is restarted with an indirect or direct free kick."

(3) there are no dumb questions only unasked ones
it's a game if there is a kicking action it needs to be dealt with in context!

We judge the action as careless reckless or excessive as to a foul of kicking
The fact that a stout opponent might not crumble really plays no part other than possibly to paint an emotional picture!
We also consider why?
If done trying to win the ball and in a reasonable fashion no SFP.
If done away from play then it becomes possible VC & or USB as well as a foul.
If the two players are both goofing around and the movement is gentle? I caught a player trying to wipe the mud off his boot on the back of his opposing team friend's sock. They were having a laugh, the kick was more of a swipe and no I did not award a free-kick

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Thanks for the questions.
1. Referees should not be looking for doubtful or trifling breaches of the Law and certainly not in respect of cautions for leaving or entering the field of play. The game involves movement over the boundary lines at many times so we are only looking for unsporting situations. Many times defenders might be positioned at the goal posts and some stand on the goal line. We should not be concerned if the player moves slightly off the field of play in such circumstances as there is nothing incongruous about it. The Law is to prevent illegal movement of players generally not connected with play or it is done for some egregious reasons in play such as running back on to the field of play without permission to get involved in play with opponents who do not expect it to happen.
Similarly if an attacker does it that player is trying to avoid being marked and it can end up with an opponent trying to stand inside the attacker which can then end up confrontational. In those instances a referee should ask the players to stand on the field of play and if the player fails to do so it can be a caution.

2. In these situations referees are looking for situations where the attacker has gained an advantage by his actions. If the attacker steps off the field of play to show that he is not involved in active play and returns when play has moved away then there is no offence. My experience is that it rarely ever happens now as players know that by ignoring the ball / play on the field that ARs will not flag them offside as was the case many years ago.
In your example it is fairly likely that if the players gets involved in active play that the player will be called offside and it will be difficult to be certain that the intent of leaving the FOP was not connected with play or done in a way to be unsporting.

3. It is up to the referee to decide that if the action involved excessive force or not. Violent conduct is when a player uses or attempts to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball, or against a team-mate, team official, match official, spectator or any other person, regardless of whether contact is made.
So it is not necessary for the player to go to ground for it to be VC. In the past I have sent off players for such actions where the opponent did not show any reaction and I have also cautioned players where I felt that the contact was negligible and where in my opinion it did not warrant a sending off. I recall sending off two players who were involved in what could be described as a maul. Neither player struck each other yet they both had excessive grips on each other including ripped shirts. I felt one player was trying to get his opponent sent off for a second caution and I decided to give both straight red cards. As far as I was concerned the players used excessive force against each other. I have at other times when two players are tugging at each other to issue cautions to both.
I know some referees who have zero tolerance of such contact between players. I recently saw a referee send a player off for deliberately running into an opponent as they were retreating after an attack. He suggested that there was a kick in the contact. I thought it was harsh and a caution in my opinion would have sufficed. A player could use excessive force by standing on a players foot and that might go unpunished because it is not seen as a *kick* or for that matter a strong push away with arms which might have more force may not be seen as VC as the force is considered negligible.
What a referee should take into account is the context and whether the incident will have an impact on match control including retaliation

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