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Soccer Referee Questions on Soccer Rules
Welcome to, a Soccer Law/Rules Question & Answer site!
Operating since October 11, 1999, that is 25 years as an independent, FREE, public service site. Dedicated to personally answering your questions regarding any Professional or Grassroots, FIFA, College, High school, or Youth soccer game situation. To ask a question simply click on Ask the Ref in the menu bar, post your question!

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/16/2024

RE: Select Adult

Tony of Whitehorse , Yukon Canada asks...

In the 77 min Croatia v Spain, the referee called a foul in the penalty area against Spain. How is that not DOGSO? Even after VAR....?...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/15/2024

RE: Recreational Under 19

Steve Janz of Los Angeles, CA United States asks...

Hi - I have a question that relates to Law 3 and Law 12. In Law 3 it states that if a substitute comes on to the field of play and interferes with play, the restart is a DFK at the point of interference. However, what I am confused about is the statement in Law 12 that says "If an offence involves contact, it is penalised by a direct free kick." Back to the scenario in Law 3, the illegal substitute just interfered with play, he didn't make any contact with any other players. So why is the restart still a DFK? Does the contact include contact with the ball? Thanks for any guidance on this. ...

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Mechanics 6/15/2024

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


I have one more question, please.

VAR protocol says this:

'Delaying the flag/whistle for an offence is only permissible in a very clear attacking situation when a player is about to score a goal or has a clear run into/towards the opponents’ penalty area'

This is a situation where the assistant referee waits for the end of the action and then raises the flag for offside.

Can the referee similarly wait until the end of the action? For example, build-up fouls that occur before a goal is scored. Or other offenses except for offside (f.e. handball etc.).

So does the rule also apply to the referee? If so, are they using it? It seems to me that they usually whistle immediat...

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Law 5 - The Referee 6/14/2024

RE: Competitive C1 Under 15

Jude Cowan of Killaloe , Ontario Canada asks...

Can a goalie delay from picking up a ball until forced by an opposing player? Our keeper didn’t pick the ball up until a player came and challenged him, but the ref said it was unsportsmanlike and next time he will receive a yellow card. ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/13/2024

RE: competive Adult

Brian Casey of Newmarket, on Canada asks...

Is it possible to issue the same player two Red Cards in the same game??
The situation was as follows.
The player was issued a Red Card during the game. The same player when issued the Red Card verbally swears and threatens the Referee?? ...

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Law 15 - The Throw In 6/10/2024

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


I have one throw-in problem, please.

Law 15:

- An opponent who unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower (INCLUDING MOVING CLOSER THAN 2 M (2 YDS) TO THE PLACE WHERE THE THROW-IN IS TO BE TAKEN) is cautioned for unsporting behaviour, and if the throw-in has been taken, an indirect free kick is awarded.

- If a player, while correctly taking a throw-in, deliberately throws the ball at an opponent in order to play the ball again but not in a careless or a reckless manner or using excessive force, the referee allows play to continue.

S1: The defender moves from 3 meters to 1.5 meters. The player does not interfere in any way except by shortening the distance. The ball is normally pla...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/6/2024

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

Thank you for your answers,

As far as I understand, if a goalkeeper stops the ball with his/her arms/hands, it is considered as a control and therefore the goalkeeper cannot handle the ball for the second time. If the ball is cleared by goalkeeper's arms/hands, it is considered as a save and therefore the keeper can handle the ball for the second time. Am I correct? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/5/2024

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


The ball crossed into the penalty area by the attacking team, the defending goalkeeper punches the ball away, runs behind the ball, dribbles the ball with his/her feet a couple of times and grabs the ball again inside the penalty area. Is it legal or is it an indirect free kick offence? ...

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/4/2024


Ibrahim Ishiaku of Lokoja, Kogi Nigeria asks...

Good day gentlemen of the whistle. QUESTION.
An attacking player is with a ball and an opponent player shouts (paaaass) and ask for a pass, the attacker with the ball now passed the ball to the opponent that requested for the pass thinking it was his team mate that asked him to pass the ball to him. What should be the referee decision if such happens in a match?

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Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/3/2024

RE: Retired Premier Referee Adult

Ibrahim Ishiaku of Lokoja, Kogi Nigeria asks...

Good day.
A goalkeeper handles the ball out side his penalty area. What should be the decision of the referee?
When can it be a sent-off offence, cautionable offence or no offence?
Thank you....

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