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Question Number: 33604

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/28/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This happened in a Grand final to a 'park footy' match on the weekend.

Ref awards IDFK for dangerous play (high foot) in the PA, almost centre field and only a step outside the Goal Area.

All eleven of the defending team are between the two post and on the goal line as required.

Keeper is directly in front of the ball as he looks to pounce once the ball is in play.

Ref blows whistle, attacking players touch the ball, the keeper runs forward and blocks the shot.

Ref determines the keeper has moved before the ball is played and whistles a restart. A split second after he does so, the attaching team kick the rebound from the keepers block into the goal - this all happens very quickly in a 1-2 sec timespan.

Ref awards goal.
Defending team screaming that they stopped due to his whistle.
Ref changes his mind and asks for a retake of the IDFK (ultimately blocked and cleared away).

Question is - as we can have a tendency to focus on defending team jumping out early in these IDFK that are very close to goal, high pressure moments, do we have room for 'Advantage' to offset an early jump.

Should the Ref have stood firm and uphold the awarded goal decision?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
First things first - it is not 'standing firm' to stick to an incorrect decision, in fact it just makes it worse. Everyone makes mistakes but the only acceptable course of action (assuming you've recognised that it was a mistake) is to admit it and reverse it. Especially when it involves a goal being scored.

So the referee definitely must not insist on making their incorrect decision stand here, they must go with a retake. Even if you think the defenders were not affected by the whistle, it doesn't matter, as soon as the whistle sounds, play is halted and the goal is not legal.

As to your second question yes, the referee can try to apply the advantage - or as mentioned by my colleagues and as we're often told for situations in the penalty area, hold the whistle a moment, aka adopt a 'wait and see' attitude although, as ref Wright outlines, that can be a tricky balancing act.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russell .
Th referee can NOT award the goal if he blows the whistle to end play before the ball has completely crossed the goal line under the crossbar & between the posts !

Just DELAY the whistle a moment to await the outcome, just do not delay too long.

I used to watch as the attacker would run across the corner of the PA on goal kicks tryingly to effect pressure on the outgoing pass receiver. It WAS illegal back then to enter the PA until the ball FULLY cleared (not so now, ball just needs to be kicked and moved) But in the same vein of advantage, I would see how the pass was received and redistributed. If I thought the illegal action affected the outcome I would order a retake and warn the player not to delay the restart, if a 2nd time a possible caution and show yellow card then a retake. NO effect perhaps a word of warning but play on!

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Russell,

Ohhhhhhh dear.....

As Ref Dawson states, the referee CANNOT award the goal if the whistle is blown for any reason. Most referees have faced the unfortunate situation of awarding a free kick or penalty kick only for the player to miraculously slot it through 6 defenders into the corner of the goal as they're falling over. No choice - goal must be disallowed.

Even if the whistle clearly had no effect on the play (ie ball is going into an open goal) - it can't be allowed.

In terms of your question about 'advantage' - the short answer is yes; the referee can hold the whistle for a moment to see what the follow-up is, then decide whether to stick with the retake. In this case you'd only delay it for the first touch.
But then if the retake is a shot not affected by that player, you'll be reconsidering whether you want to retake at all.
This is a typical 'lose-lose' situation. Stop play immediately and you're not seeing if there's a natural beneficial outcome. Stop play after the 2nd touch and there's a risk of being seen as allowing 2 bites at the cherry - (bear in mind that a shot, while often indicates the culmination of advantage, isn't necessarily so - there are definitely cases where a player can take a shot and you go back to the foul). But then allow it to continue, and you're then seen as not punishing encroachment.

N0 matter what the referee does in this case, one team is going to walk away thinking the ref has ruined the game.

I'd say in this case, there are so many different things to watch, that I wouldn't be considering encroachment unless it's clear. That doesn't mean 2-3 metres - I just mean clear. But like all things, the ref needs to be 100% certain. Monitor encroachment but if you look too hard for it, there's the risk of incorrectly calling it if the keeper is stepping off the line at the moment it's touched.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Poor mechanics got the referee in a pickle here.
First point is that he could not have stood firm and awarded the goal due to his signal to stop the game. The defending team knew that hence the protest which prevailed. The whistle probably had no impact on the defenders yet that is of no concern to the referee. Once play was stopped then no follow up play could be allowed.
Now what should have happened is that the referee should have adopted a *wait and see* approach and then he could have easily awarded the goal. In these instances there is no need for a quick whistle nor is there a need to signal advantage. The advantage can be silent on the *wait and see* as the referee can determine that it was either trifling or that he can simply award the goal without any advantage signal or he can go back to the offence. The attacking team is none too bothered whether there was an offence in the seconds leading up to the goal or not.
So in an attacking free kick situation the referee should simply just wait a second or so and determine if there is an offence or not and then decide based on what transpires.
Had the free kick after the first touch gone straight into the goal on the shot there was still encroachment yet a referee would never bring it back to a retake. Likewise there will times when the encroachment has no impact on the kick so it can be seen as trifling and doubtful with the outcome accepted.

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