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Question Number: 33932

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/20/2020

RE: ex referee Adult

Daniel of Bacau, Romania Romania asks...

Direct free kick for the attackers 18 meters in front of the goal. After the ball has been released by the referee, an attacker shoots the ball towards the goal. A defender runs 3 meters ahead of the wall forward and fends off the shot with a deliberate handball. Referee's decision? Please motivate the disciplinary sanction.

Many thanks

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Daniel,
As described, this is definitely a handing offence for a clear, deliberate handball. The encroachment offence is a little less clear. You say the attacker shoots the ball, then you say the defender runs forward. So did the defender move before the shot was taken, or after? The fact that you say the defender was three yards in front of the wall when they handled the ball, suggests they probably moved before the kick but it's not 100% clear.

Anyway, assuming the defender did move early, that suggests the cautionable offence of failing to respect the required distance at a free kick has occurred. The handling offence is potentially - though not necessarily cautionable, it depends on the exact circumstances - so one way or another the defender deserves a yellow card.

As ref Wright mentions, the free kick will probably be a more advantageous outcome for the attackers so that's probably what you would award.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Daniel
The first decision is that it is a direct free kick for handling rather than uncertainty about encroachment.
The second decision is that it is certainly a caution for unsporting behaviour or for not respecting the distance at a free kick. It is a matter for the referee to decide and it does not make any real difference. My view is that the player running from the wall raising his arms towards the ball is the easier decision for me and a DFK plus a yellow card for USB. The encroachment card could constitute a retake and a card for failing to respect the required distance although the DFK some 7 yards further on is more advantageous. Put it like this. If the handling was inside the penalty area there would be no doubt about a penalty kick restart.
It is not likely to be a red card as it is unlikely that an obvious goal scoring opportunity conditions existed yet if they did then a red card would be appropriate.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Daniel,
It's kind of nice for a referee when a player is kind enough to commit several blatant offences at once!
So, by your description, I presume the defender broke from the wall before the kick.
So, the defender has committed 2 clear offences - the encroachment, and the handball.
The encroachment - given it's clear and the player contacted the ball - certainly warrants a card. Depending on the handling scenario that could warrant a card itself, but as it's all part of the same action, you're not going to issue 2 yellow cards. The handling is a 'maybe' yellow card (depends on the situation), the encroachment is a definite yellow card.
So, we have a card. 2 possible reasons, but pick one. Ultimately this only matters in terms of reporting anyway - on the field, it's clear he needs a card for something.
As for the restart? That goes to wherever would be most advantageous for the opposition, given we have to offences - we have the option of retaking the kick, or awarding a DFK/PK for the handling. You can sanction the encroachment with the yellow card while effectively applying advantage to award the FK for the 2nd offence - the handling. As the FK would almost certainly be in a better position for the handling, you award it for that offence.
Because of that, I'd probably mark the card down as 'Unsporting Behaviour' - it saves any armchair lawyer trying to argue that if I've penalised encroachment then it had to be a retake.
Finally, the discussion for DOGSO. This would be extremely unlikely - for one, it might be difficult for the referee to tell with certainty if the shot was on target. Two, this defender is likely to have a number of players behind them.
It may well be feasible - say, it's the outside defender on the wall, you're certain it's going into the to corner and the keeper isn't standing right behind him, and nobody else is going to be able to stop that shot. So, be aware of it, be prepared to issue the red card if you're absolutely certain, but don't overthink it - if you have to look too hard for the red card, it probably isn't there.
So, most likely it's just a DFK/PK at the point of handling and a yellow card for USB.

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