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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33640

Law 5 - The Referee 9/9/2019

RE: Under 19

Jerry of Los Angeles, CA USA asks...

I have always been told to go back and give cautions for fouls you would have given cautions for but played advantage. Does this also include Unsporting Behavior fouls of the tactical/SPA variety even if the 'promising attack' wasn't completely neutralized?

Say that an attacker is running up the field and in their attacking half/third a defender behind them starts pulling back on their arm to slow them up. You call advantage on it and the attacker still manages to get to around the 18 and get a shot off. Even though this wasn't 'stopping' a promising attack, this could be clearly viewed as 'interfering' with the promising attack and going back to give a caution (whether a goal scored or not) would be justified right?

And the same could be said for any foul of this variety, say if a defender deliberately extends their arm that hits a ball crossing from a pass to an attacker, but the ball still lands at the attacker's feet and they get a shot off?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jerry
That advice is sound. Playing advantage does not negate the card
My advice though is that once the foul has not had the desired tactical effect with play continuing then it may not merit a card in the first place. The foul did not achieve what was intended tactically and it may be seen as insignificant in the game context.
When I go back to caution it is typically for a reckless foul which perhaps was a late challenge as the ball is passed away to another attacker in a promising position or it is yet another foul by a defender who has already been warned on persistent infringement.
Rarely would I go back for the foul that the attacker evaded and continued after a stumble with it not having any real effect on the player. If I saw him limping after the conclusion of the advantage I would take that into my thinking particularly in a game where the mood is feisty. Or I see the opponent having strong words with the opponent about his attempt to foul.
It is up to the referee to evaluate each situation taking into account all the factors after playing advantage. If it has limited impact on the game then I just file it away as something to consider on the players conduct in the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jerry,
Yes, going back to caution for offences that truly merit it after playing advantage, does include fouls that fall into the USB/SPA category. Just as with the more common or garden variety fouls though, it still does need to be the case that the original offence actually deserved a caution in the first place.

As my colleagues have alluded to, if the original foul was only a borderline caution then you might decide to let it go with just a warning. Having said that, I think that is more likely to be the case with an 'ordinary' foul than with a foul that constitutes SPA/USB.

Similarly with your second example. Was the handling an offence that truly merited a caution in its own right? If so, then you are fully justified in going back to caution for it. For me it's the same principle as cautioning a player for attempting to prevent a goal by handling - even if the goal is scored, you still go back and caution the player for the attempt, because of the unsporting nature of the offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jerry,
ANY cardable misconduct associated with a foul where advantage is played does not evaporate just because the advantage works out and play continues or a shot is taken or a goal is scored. It does however need to be addressed at the next stoppage before any restart or it does evaporate. lol

In your pulling scenario if it was a clear USB action you are justified in the issuing of a caution show a yellow card at the next stoppage no matter the outcome. You COULD evaluate the action as doubtful or trifling if a goal results and the player affected had no difficulty playing through the misconduct. A warning perhaps . Cards should really be reserved for driving home the point THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! PERIOD!

Your 2nd scenario has some WHAT ifs like what if that handling denied a scoring opportunity to an onside attacker versus putting an offside attacker onside for deliberately playing the ball? One might be red card if NO goal the other only a caution as there would be no DOGSO given he was a PIOP UNTIL the deliberate handling reset his restriction.

Also an onside attacker getting a shot off from a deflection might not be good as if he had the option to play it without it being handled . The header for an open goal, out shoots the arm of the defender, knocking the ball down. The keeper has time to come across . The ball deflects down to the attacker's feet , he manages a shot, keeper stops it. . STILL a red card for the handling in my opinion. If a goal RESULTs a caution is all that is required, given the attempt to deny failed, but it was USB!

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