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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 28445

Law 13 - Free Kicks 5/20/2014

RE: Adult

Andrew Krakowski of Alexandria, Virginia United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28099

We had a situation where a direct kick was awarded around midfield. The offense quickly stopped and placed the ball and the defense at the time was more than 10 yards away. The offensive player stepped back for a long kick and as he was about to kick it, a player on defense (seemingly unknowingly) ran across the path of the kick about 4-5 yards from the ball. The ball hit the player and bounced back toward the kicker and was ultimately possessed by the defensive side. I believe the player who ran inside the 10 could have been cautioned or warned by the ref. In addition, should have the offensive team been allowed to rekick?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
As described the correct decision was to caution the defender for ''failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in''. As this offence happened as the ball was put into play the referee has the choice of going back to the original free kick or allowing play to continue if it is to the advantage of the kicking team. As there was no advantage here the restart was a retake.
Had the defender deliberately handled the ball the referee could punish that more serious offence with the award of a direct free kick or penalty.

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