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Question Number: 34048

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/9/2020

RE: Competive Adult

Richard Park of Hampton , Ga Usa asks...

Attaching player gets fouled outside the defending team penalty area, tries to play thru foul but never regained possession of ball and was then fouled again inside defending team penalty area. Referee never applied advantage on first foul and stopped game. What’s the correct restart, free kick for the 1st foul or penalty kick for the second? Thanks

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Richard
Thanks for your question
Your answer hinges on whether advantage was played on the first foul or not which can include a silent ‘wait and see’
If the referee did not call the first foul and he just waited to see what developed then the restart is a penalty kick for the more advantageous offence which occurred inside the penalty area.
If however the referee did not wait to see what developed and called the first foul then the referee can only punish that offence with the award of a direct free kick outside the penalty area.
Around the penalty area a referee should give himself some thinking time by waiting to see what develops including the possibility of advantage. An early whistle can cause all sorts of problems including maybe having to send off a player for a DOGSO on a free kick award whereas the same foul on a penalty award in the same situation will be a caution.
The Law also tells us that a holding foul which continues from outside the penalty area to inside will be punished with a penalty kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Richard,

Don't worry too much about whether or not advantage has been called here. I actually don't see any reason for that to influence the outcome - the laws are actually quite silent on what signalling advantage actually means, or even when to make the signal.

For advantage, the laws state:

"allows play to continue when an offence occurs and the non-offending team
will benefit from the advantage, and penalises the offence if the anticipated
advantage does not ensue at that time or within a few seconds"


"The referee allows play to continue when an offence has occurred if this benefits
the non-offending team"

There's actually nothing in the laws about requirements of signalling advantage. So, take it back to basics - what's better for the non-offending team allowing play to continue or not?

Clearly, allowing play to continue from the first foul is more advantageous. Considering the spirit of the law - is the intent really that a team is denied a penalty because a signal hasn't been completed? Because the referee was perhaps a little slow to make a decision?
Of course not. The second foul, being in a more advantageous spot, actually realises the first advantage it's clear that the team benefits more from allowing play to continue from the first foul. Not having made the signal doesn't change that. Think of it like you're implicitly accepting the first advantage. Not applying the penalty because a foul occurred wouln't be a fair outcome.

It's a bit like if a goal is scored while you're in the 'wait and see' stage - you're not going to disallow it because you haven't signalled advantage, are you? Of course not - because that outcome is the realisation of the advantage. Here, the 2nd foul is realising the advantage from the first. Like how a holding foul that continues into the PA is a penalty - consecutive fouls are the same.

A referee must be careful, of course, to ensure the 2nd foul is actually a foul - if a player is off balance and stumbling, perhaps the 2nd contact that brings them down wasn't enough to constitute a foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Richard,
Whether or not the referee signals advantage or is waiting to see if there is an advantage, if there WAS NO whistle, PLAY ON! UNTIL a whistle!
WHAT did the referee blow the whistle for??
You say he NEVER applied advantage?
Do you mean he did not signal it?
Around the PA area the referee often does a delayed whistle awaiting an outcome.
The restart will depend on WHY the referee stopped play based on his observations.
He might have missed the foul, thought perhaps it was a fair challenge?
The restart COULD be
A DFK outside the PA. no advantage was realized
A PK inside the PA. advantage was realized as this is a better scoring opportunity
If the ball went into touch and the referee called no foul, the restart would be a corner kick or goal kick depending on who the referee saw last touch that ball.
Whether the incident was card worthy we do not have sufficient info.

The timing issue between the 2 challenges, was the attacker unable to recover, stumbled into the PA and then fell on his kester? The fact the ball may be headed out of play does create the illusion the foul outside the PA might have caused the subsequent failure for the attacker to recover the ball. If the attacker was off balance and already falling the 2nd foul might be looked at as a continuation of the 1st foul and not a new SEPERATE advantageous foul that would change the outcome from a DFK outside to a PK inside!

If the ball HAD already exited the FOP, then there was a 2nd trip inside the PA, that trip is ONLY looked at as misconduct. We would go back outside for the first foul if advantage was in the referees mindset or a goal kick out if the attacker last touched the ball or a corner kick if the referee felt the defender got a touch of the ball in the challenge outside ?

The subsequent foul inside the PA, if play is stopped for that foul, if it was a DFK foul, it is AUTOMATICALLY a PK. Possible card for misconduct.
If the attacker was NOT going to ever get to the ball & he was always in the process of going down chances are we bring the DFK restart outside at the contact point. Possible card for misconduct or even DOGSO criteria might be in play.

HOWEVER, if the attacker was obviously GOING to recover or had recovered his balance and it was a 2nd foul that BROUGHT him down as long as the Ball was in play on the FOP that foul should be awarded as a PK given IF advantage was considered after the 1st foul a PK is a pretty good advantage.

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