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Question Number: 34035

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/25/2020

RE: Adult

Daniel Nethercote of Liverpool, United kingdom asks...

In reference to last night's game between Liverpool and Sheffield utd, particularly the Fabiniho penalty incident on the edge of the penalty area, can you clarify the following for me, and possibly cite the exact ruling for me to look into to confirm it:

Is the penalty area considered to be upto the outer edge of the penalty area markings (i.e. are the 5" of white line considered 'inside' the box)

And secondly, as with balls having to be 100% across the goal line, players having to be 100% onside, balls having to 100% go out to be a throw, what is the closest thing we have to a rule on the ball or player being inside the box to warrant a penalty.

Thank you

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Daniel
Law 1 states and i quote* The field of play must be rectangular and marked with continuous lines which must not be dangerous. These lines belong to the areas of which they are boundaries.*
So the penalty area line is part of the penalty area.
In this incident Referee Mike Dean saw the challenge as a foul. With VAR technology it was clearly shown that the contact on the attacker was ON the line and therefore inside the penalty area.
So the outer edge of the line is inside the penalty area. Obviously only technology can determine such fine margins such a goal line technology where all of the ball has to over all of the line for a goal to be scored.
In goal line incidents where part of the ball is still touching the line no goal can be awarded.
So in summary offences happens where the contact occurs and that is the location of the restart. Once an offence happens inside the penalty area it is a penalty kick. 100% correct decision by the match officials.
Many of our panel myself included opine that a referee, even with AR assistance, would not be able to make that discrimination **with confidence** in real time and through a crowd of players, and would instead award a DFK just outside the area. I believe Mike Eean was giving a DFK just outside yet technology showed it was on the line and therefore inside.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Daniel ,
The LOTG are quite clear !
LAW 1 The field of play
The boundary lines are part of the area they encompass.
So the answer to your first question is YES!
If a foul occurs within this 5 inch width that foul is inside the PA and if it is ruled as a DFK offence it is AUTOMATICALLY a PK!

Are you aware the keeper could be 100% outside his 18 yard penalty area but if the ball itself is only slightly overhanging this outer edge with the majority of its circumference nearer the center circle side of the field than the goal line, that ball is legal to be handled by him? It would look odd I you BUT given the 5 inch boundary line is PART of the PA then the ball is INSIDE the PA and legal to be handled by the keeper. Even if the part of the ball he is touching looks like it is outside the PA!

The FOP is comprised of the two 5 inch touchlines running along on the side of the pitch. You are correct the ball must COMPLETELY exits the FOP last touched by a player of either team before the opposing team is awarded a throw in to restart from the point it COMPLETELY left the FO to be out of play requiring a restart. . By this logic on the return throw-in, the ball merely has to graze this outer edge of the touchline to be out BACK into play.

I ask that you imagine ANY of these 5 inch touch/boundary lines as a 5 inch wall of water extending straight up into the sky, if any part of the ball is WET in the slightest, it is ON the FIELD of play.

Imagine the same with the two 5 inch goal lines , the 18 yard PAs and the 6 yard goal area lines at each end of the FOP. If the ball is even a tiny bit wet, it is WITHIN the boundaries and within that area.

In real time, at the recreational level, our chances of a clear view to determine with such precision as they can with freeze frame VAR review is simply NOT possible. Some believe the challenge was fair that the ball was contacted first and the subsequent sweep of the legs creating incidental contact was ok. The referee in this match thought otherwise!

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