Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 33928

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/3/2020

RE: Competitive Adult

Refjak of Malindi, Kenya Kenya asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33926

Thank you so much for your detailed response. I have friends and senior friends that I pride over around here.

However, for the sake of a few of my hard headed fellows who will trust by seeing everything plainly inscribed by seniors like you, I would wish you concluded for them to end a wrangle.

After allowing play to continue on a quick restart, do you still caution the offender at the next stoppage if the previous offence was an SPA? Some guys around here argue that since you allowed the quick restart (you didn't caution) then at the next stoppage you don't show the offender the YC. Sure?


Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Addendum 8/4/20
The IFAB has just announced a change on this 7th April 2020 for next season:

** If the referee plays advantage or allows a quick free kick for an offence which interfered with or stopped a promising attack, the YC is not issued**

Full document with all the changes available here:
The panels answers were correct at time of posting yet now dated. It highlights our statement that
**Over the past 20 years Ask the Ref has amassed tens of thousands of questions & answers but the LOTG always changes and/or portions no longer apply. Be SURE to reread the latest version of the LOTG and circulars.

Read other questions answered by Referee MrRef

View Referee MrRef profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Refjak,
It is often unwise to allow a restart if the 'need'to caution a player has not been performed.

A restart by the team that was in theory was disadvantaged is an indication they are unconcerned with the misconduct and the need to show the card.

There is certainly potential for a quick restart to lead to a GOOD situation perhaps even a goal so it is wrong to think it is not advantageous to go quickly.

However , a restart is not the same as an advantage where during live play we do not whistle instead we do not stop play but DELAY the whistle to await an outcome. Then if there was misconduct attached to that act that we did apply advantage too we THEN show the card at the NEXT stoppage!

If a foul occurs that stops the attack and the culprit is worthy of a caution show the yellow card for the misconduct of why the attack was stopped. The offended team chooses to place the ball and restart before the referee can act to show a card. Your question is Can the referee show the card at the next stoppage? At issue in essence this restart WAS the next stoppage!

The fact is the referee CAN show the yellow card and caution but NOT the red card for DOGSO as the restart cancels this option out. At one time it was FIRMLY believed that UNLESS the card WAS shown before the restart it was invalid that is no longer the case. The only thing in dispute is HAS the referee interfered with the restart by his or her actions?

LOTG quote
Except as outlined in Law 12.3 and the VAR protocol, a disciplinary sanction may only be issued after play has restarted if another match official had identified and attempted to communicate the offence to the referee before play restarted; the restart associated with the sanction does not apply.

Delaying the restart of play to show a card
Once the referee has decided to caution or send off a player, play must not be restarted until the sanction has been administered, unless the non-offending team takes a quick free kick, has a clear goal-scoring opportunity and the referee has not started the disciplinary sanction procedure. The sanction is administered at the next stoppage; if the offence was denying the opposing team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the player is cautioned.

If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution/sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play, except for the denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity when the player is cautioned for unsporting behavior.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

I think I can see the argument some of your colleagues are making. The principle they seem to be wanting to apply is similar to the one whereby a player is not cautioned for stopping ''a promising attack where the referee awards a penalty kick for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball'' They are presumably saying that since the quick restart is allowed, that has restored the promising attack and so a caution is not needed.

However, the law does not contain a specific provision for not cautioning when a quick restart is allowed on a SPA offence so I don't think we can say definitively that the caution should or should not be given.

So I agree with ref McHugh that there is no right answer here and it would depend on the circumstances.

Edit: After we published these responses, the IFAB issued the list of changes for next season. It includes the following:

''If the referee plays advantage or allows a 'quick' free kick for an offence which 'interfered with or stopped a promising attack', the YC is not issued.''

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Refjak
Stopping a promising attack is a matter of opinion and for me it also depends on the manner of the offence.
A careless trip that ends up with the attacker falling on the ball with other defenders close by and the player taking an immediate quick free kick to a player in a promising position might not result in a caution at the next stoppage whereas say a jersey pull and haul to the ground with few defenders close by probably could.
So there is no correct answer here. The Laws allow for the referee to caution after a QFK has been taken so it is incorrect to say that the referee should not yet more appropriate to say that many referees might not in some promising attack situations as the QFK may recreate the SPA situation.
Another way to look at it is through how it is handled after an advantage on a promising attack. How many referees would go back to the caution after playing advantage on a minor foul on a promising attack that continues? Some will whereas in situations where it is not seen as a particularly serious foul they might let it slide. In many ways it is the same. Are the referees that advocate no caution on a QFK saying that a caution should not be issued after an advantage at the next stoppage in play? I do not think so.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33928
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.