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Question Number: 33472

Mechanics 6/22/2019

RE: Competitive Under 18

Peter of Sarnia, Ontario Canada asks...

Blue team committed a foul in yellow's half in the centre circle. Direct free kick awarded. I turned to run towards the blue end of the field and, as my back was turned, the free kick was taken. As I turned back to face the ball, a yellow player was dribbling the ball towards blue's end but there were no other yellow players around the ball carrier. I suspected the free kick had not been taken properly and the yellow player had simply kicked it to themself without another player touching the ball. I had not seen it, though, and did not feel I could stop the play as I had not seen the foul. I allowed play to continue and about 30 seconds later yellow scored. The goal was the first stoppage in play after the free kick. At that time I ran over to talk to my AR who confirmed the free kick had been taken incorrectly. I called off the goal and had yellow retake the kick from within the centre circle. Of course yellow went nuts but I stuck to the call. After the game the yellow coach conceded that the free kick was not taken properly but he did not think I should have called off the goal due to the length of time from the free kick to the goal being scored.
Two questions - (1) was I correct to call off the goal and have the kick retaken? I don't think the time frame matters as I checked at the next stoppage in play and (2) should yellow have retaken the kick or should I have awarded an indirect free kick to blue?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

(1) - Yes, you were correct to call it. You have up until another restart to change your mind, or to take advice from an AR

(2) - Sorry, the other team should have been given an IFK for the 2nd touch. It wasn't the original kick that was wrong, it was the 2nd touch.

Comment: Did your AR, who later confirmed the 2nd touch, try to do anything to get you to stop play? That would have been the better outcome.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter,
You were right to chalk off the goal. The coach was wrong (as coaches often are, when trying to get a call overturned in favour of their team). It's not the length of time that matters, only whether play has restarted.

The law on this is quite clear

''The referee may not change a restart decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted ...''

Unfortunately, you got the restart wrong - as ref Voshol says and as you suggested yourself, it should have been an indirect free kick to blue for a 'second touch' offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
Unfortunately poor mechanics here caused the furore.
First point is that a referee turning away from the ball runs the high risk of missing a key decision. The fact you did not see the restart with a very strong suspicion of an incorrect restart could have prompted an immediate action. Play could have been stopped with a request to take the free kick again when you were ready for it.
The second point is that failing that the AR should have immediately raised his flag to signal the offence of the double touch. The fact that he was able to confirm the offence raises the question of why was it not flagged in the first place?
Either of the interventions would have prevented the situation.
As it turned out the Laws allowed for the goal to be cancelled with an IDFK restart for the double touch offence. The Laws make no determination on the amount to time taken just that a decision cannot be reversed after a restart.
That though fails to deal with the *furore* of having to deal with something that took over 30secs to deal with and a key decision to be overturned.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Peter,
Little to add to my colleagues excellent explanations than a gentle chiding that good mechanics matter. .
Given it was an incorrect restart the 2nd touch is a flag up for an INDFK infraction which would have alerted you as well, why did the AR wait to tell you?
You now are aware, restarts can be brought back provided no other restart occurred.
But as a habit, learn to run backwards as well as front and if you want the kicker to NOT go, hold up your hand and ask him wait for the whistle .
In cases where I was dropping the ball to a keeper I asked him give me a chance to get up-field before you punt it .
Players are generally pretty good if you treat them with respect.

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