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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 27521

Law 17 - Corner Kick 6/13/2013

RE: Under 12

Michael Sullivan of Naperville, Illinois USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 27496

I ref for the same teams often. A U-10 coach has a set play where his team sets up for a corner kick, to be taken by player A. Player B approaches, calls out that he will take the kick. Player A taps the ball towards him, but instead of setting up for the kick, Player B takes ball and run towards net. Coach claims he saw the play in a premier league game. I feel it is trickery and unsportsman like but I cant get any more senior refs to agree with me, so each week I let this happen. Should this be unsportsmanlike condust, a yellow card and indirect free kick?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Michael
This ruse has been around for a long time and the ruse was used by Manchester United versus Chelsea in a PL game in 2010. The assistant referee was none other than Darren Cann of WC final fame. He flagged that the kick was not taken correctly and the referee Howard Webb asked for a retake. I also recall Liverpool doing it in the Champions League many years ago and the referee did not allow it either. He just asked for a retake. Some referees said that they will allow it if all the conditions of the corner kick are met correctly.
Now for me the referee has to decide if he saw the corner kick taken correctly with the ball properly placed plus kicked and moved. If he has not seen the proper placement and the kick then a retake is appropriate.
Second point for me is whether Player B verbally distracted an opponent at a restart in that he shouts out which distracts the defender away from the moment of the kick or deceives the opponent that the kick is not in play. If it is done before the kick is taken and the ball leaves the quadrant then for me it is a retake. If it is done after the kick is taken then it can be a caution and an indirect free kick for verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart.
I know many referees who will only intervene when the coach shouts as part of the 'ruse'. Obviously this was not one of them on the video
For me I don't allow it and it is a retake every single time. When its a retake there is rarely any gripe from either side.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The advice is the US is that oral statements by a player at the taking of a free kick is proper (as 'guile') and the referee should not interfere. Oral statements by a 'coach' OTOH are unacceptable and play should be held up, the coach dealt with (strong warning or dismissal), and the restart then taken again. The reasoning is that the coach is not giving instruction to the coach's own players and the laws do not authorize a coach to talk to (or deceive) opposing players.

In most cases, including the MU situation, the referee or assistant referee doesn't 'see' the first touch and called a second touch infringement. Moreover, my experience is that the U10 team tries this play once per game, and it doesn't work. The first player does not kick the ball, and the ball is not properly put into play. Or, the second player is unable to do anything with the ball.

While, IMO, the u10 trick rarely works for the attacking team, it does teach the defenders a critical lesson - - always keep their focus on the ball - even at a free kick. Long term, the referee probably does more for the Game by allowing it than interfering with it.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

USSF has decided that 'verbal deception' while not allowed during play, is ok at restarts if done by players. Coaches however, are not allowed to do this and the corner would be retaken and the coach dismissed for his behavior.
So, were I you and did not approve of this trick play, I simply would not see the first kick as putting the ball into play and stop play for a second touch.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 27521
Read other Q & A regarding Law 17 - Corner Kick

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 27641

See Question: 28650

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