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Question Number: 26911

Law 17 - Corner Kick 10/16/2012

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 26904

I looked at the video that Referee McHugh provided the link to:

where he said the referee community was divided.

I don't see why this wouldn't be considered unsporting conduct by the offense. Why is this different than pretending to be a teammate & yelling 'pass it back' to an opponent when you're behind him & none of his teammates are? It has nothing to do with soccer skills.

It also puts the defensive team in a catch 22 position. Suppose a defender sees through what he considers a trick, runs up & gets the ball before the 2nd offensive team player gets the ball. He takes the chance that he will be cautioned for delaying the restart, while the offense shrugs their shoulders & pretends that they never intended the initial 'kick' to be a restart.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Many believe that Wayne Rooney put the ball into play legitimately with no verbal deception. Clearly Darren Cann, a vastly experienced AR, flagged that the corner kick was not taken properly and Howard Webb, a WC final referee asked for the corner kick to be taken again.
In the European Championship game between Portugal and Holland a corner kick was 'taken' covertly as you describe by Nani of Portugal. The ball was clearly kicked by Nani albeit covertly and a Dutch player was alert to this and moved towards the ball when Nani's Portuguese team mate picked the ball up to take the corner kick. Many senior referees felt that was deliberate handling and that a DFK to Holland should have been awarded. Instead the corner kick was taken as if the first 'kick' did not happen. See Q2 on this link
So there is the dilemma for the officials. Was the corner kick taken or not? I don't have a video of it but personally I thought the corner was taken and if the Dutch player did not react I suspect the Portuguese player would have continued with play. The decision though was probably PC in that no one questioned the call whereas a DFK for deliberate handling would have raised question marks about the correctness of that call with Portugal claiming that the kick was not taken.
It highlights to me one of the challenges with ruse corner kicks and how they can cause match issues for referees. I don't like them in games and I usually find a reason to ask for the corner kick to be taken properly before it is an issue.
However always remember that the ultimate decision maker is the referee on the day. We can all have opinions but when the referee makes the 'best' call possible we have to accept that and get on with play. We all strive to ensure that the 'best' call matches the correct call. When that does happen try to find the reason and learn from it.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Phil - Referee McHugh is absolutely correct in saying the referee community is divided on these issues - for isntance, I personally don't think the corner kick video linked in the previous question should have been disallowed (unless the AR also spotted something else that I haven't - perhaps the 'kicker' was still in contact with the ball when it was clearly outside the corner arc?).

But, that's part of what makes refereeing so interesting - there are a lot of scenarios that aren't covered explicitly under the laws of the game, so often it comes down to the referees interpretation of not only the text of the laws but the spirit of the laws, and applying that in a split-second decision.

For many referees, the key factor is whether there is verbal deception. But, there is disagreement over this, and there is little official direction here - though personally, I'm happy to go along with what most referee's I've encountered seem to think. That being, as long as there isn't verbal deception, then it should be allowed.

The 'You Are The Ref' link provided by Ref McHugh is a great example of why these can be so problematic, and the situation posted is one of those 'darned if you do, darned if you don't' scenarios.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Hi Phil. Here's MY take of fake or deceptive corner kicks.

We have been discussing these for at least 5 Years. Every U12 coach in the US it is a trick play and it's discussed in Grade 8 certification in some detail and has been addressed at many recertification classes.

These are PROFESSIONAL players and referees. They simply have to be aware of this ruse and should be able to deal with it. Rooney clearly put the ball into play. The professional AR should have known this AND so should have the professional players on the other team.
This ruse is a good reason for the defenders to place someone 10 yards from the ball

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