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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34129

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/21/2021

RE: Adult

Fidel Jaary of Wiri, Auckland, New Zealand asks...

Hi, Does a casual/Professional foul in the penalty area warrant a yellow/Red card.



Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Fidel,

A lot of emphasis will be placed on the defender's action as to intent, accountability, and the assessment of the criterion for DOGSO or USB.

Any DFK foul inside the PA has likely mitigated a huge attacking/scoring possibility.

We do consider the FORCE used if it is excessive as SFP or VC which is a red card no matter if DOSGO criterion were met or not but your reference to causal/professional needs some definition.

When you say a professional foul, they are generally regarded as not a legitimate challenge to win the ball but a cynical action taken to stop the opposing player or kill the attack! These unsporting actions are done to stop the player, not an attempted fair challenge to win the ball. A pull on the shirt inside the PA, as a holding foul that fits all DOGSO criteria, the defender will likely be dismissed, shown the RED card reducing his team by a player AND the PK awarded! Why not just a caution, show a yellow for the USB given the PK restores the scoring opportunity?

It is because the FOUL had no direct link to a FAIR challenge or at least an effort of a fair challenge which in effect is more the casual foul (careless) where the trip occurs but he was just a shade short of getting to that ball or a tackle where some contact occurs just before he got the ball away. These are STILL DFK fouls because they affected the attack but not professional fouls where cynically wiping the opponent out or halting the attack at the expense of the opponent was the true intent of the action.

It is conceivable that a reckless tackle might only see a caution yellow card inside the PA even if DOGSO criteria were met, however, a challenge to win the ball viewed as a REASONABLE effort to try and win the ball but a tad late, a tad bit too careless, a tad bit too much effect to be ignored will likely result in the PK with no card: UNLESS the criterion for DOGSO is 100% met in which case a yellow card caution for that action but no red card as the PK restores the scoring opportunity.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Fidel
This is not a simple answer as there are many factors to be considered.
In general now an attempt to play the ball in a denying an obvious goal scoring situation is downgraded from a red card to a yellow card where a penalty kick is awarded. If the offence is not an attempt to play the ball but rather say a pull, push, holding, cynical trip, handling it would be a red card rather than yellow. So the type and manner of the offence is important.
Move the offence outside the penalty area and the DOGSO offence is a red card in all instances where the 4 DOGSO conditions are met.
In respect of a regular offence which interferes with or stops a promising attack and where the referee awards a penalty kick for that offence which was an attempt to play the ball then no card is required. The same offence outside the penalty area would be a caution.
Now if the referee considers the offence to be reckless then it will be a caution in all situations except of course where it is a DOGSO red card.
The principle behind all this is that soccer wants to punish cynical unsporting actions and also does not want to be harsh on genuine attempts to play the ball which results in a foul that are not reckless particularly where a penalty kick has been awarded.
For instance a goalkeeper comes out and dives to play the ball yet ends up making contact with the attacker in a genuine attempt to play the ball is now a caution in a DOGSO situation.
If there is no DOGSO situation no card is required.
So a casual foul that was an attempt to play the ball not in a DOGSO situation and a penalty is awarded does not merit a yellow card. A cynical offence in the same situation would be a caution.

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