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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34252

Law 5 - The Referee 6/21/2021

RE: Adult

Bob of HARROGATE, North Yorkshire England asks...

In the Euros, the match between Croatia and Czech republic, there was an incident in the penalty area, when Lovran unfortunatly clashed with an opposing player, the player went down and needed medical treatment. After which surely he should have gone off the pitch to be invited back on by the referee, during his treatment the incident turned into a penalty, (by VAR) the player did not leave the pitch, and got up and was allowed to take (and score) the penalty kick. Am I missing something or was this just WRONG

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
Thanks for the question and a good spot.

The Law has been amended here to take account of this type of situation.

IFAB felt it was unfair for a team’s penalty taker who is injured in a penalty situation to be asked to leave the field of play. In addition where a players has been injured by an opponent who is cautioned as a result of the challenge does not have to leave the FOP for treatment.
The updated Law 5 reads
** Exceptions to the requirement to leave the field of play are only when.....
# a player is injured as the result of a physical offence for which the opponent is cautioned or sent off (e.g. reckless or serious foul challenge), if the assessment/treatment is completed quickly
# a penalty kick has been awarded and the injured player will be the kicker**

So in this case the player was covered by two exceptions either the caution or the penalty kicker. If Lovren was not cautioned the player was still entitled to stay on the FOP to take the kick.
So the referee was 100% correct.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Bob,
it was indeed a good spot! As my colleague, Ref McHugh points out, the LOTG was changed to ensure fair play was at the center of these incidents so as not to unfairly punish the team that did not cause the issue!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Bob,
As part of the change quoted above by ref McHugh, the IFAB gave the following explanation in the section, "Details of all Law Changes" for 2019-20:

"It is unfair if the kicker needs assessment/treatment and then has to leave the field and cannot take the penalty kick."

While it is true that the incident could also have been covered by the exception regarding a caution being issued, I have to say that (for whatever reason) this exception is almost never invoked and I can only recall having seen it used once in all the years since it was introduced, so I suspect it was more a case of the "penalty-taker" exception being used.

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