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Question Number: 34328

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/3/2021

RE: Recreational Adult

Ben of WARWICK, United Kingdom asks...

A striker is about to shoot in the penalty box. A defender dives in to block but the striker cuts outside him leaving him on the floor. He then goes to shoot but the defender on the floor stretches out his arms along the ground to block the shot. the striker cuts to the right again and then his shot his blocked off and the chance has gone.

The striker claims penalty as the defender blocked his shots with his hands and no attempt to play the ball with is feet. The defender says no penalty as the ball never actually touched his hands.

What is the correct decision?

This happened to me recently (I was the striker) and was fuming! Surely this comes under bad sportmanship / bringing game in to disrepute at the least?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ben
Unfortunately as the shot was not taken and the ball never touched the defender’s arms it could not be a penal offence punished by a penalty kick.

It might seem unsporting that his action prevented shots being taken with no contact yet there is no obvious offence to punish for here. A referee can’t call something that could have happened and certainly not on a major decision such as a penalty award. So I cannot see any offence here even impeding or PIADM offences which are the two main indirect free kick restarts. Impeding is rare in the modern game which is rarely if ever called and this does not read like impeding anyway.

In hindsight maybe the *best* decision was to take the shot and obvious contact off the outstretched arms would have been penalised with a penalty kick and a card.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ben,
Wow shades of Suarez lol Have a read on a previous Question 34324.
The fact is occasionally a player will do what is necessary to keep an opponent from scoring. The LOTG covers most of it but there are still some USB aspects that do not set well. Your case in point. The fact is for a DHF the deliberate hand actions are needed to contact the ball. That did not occur. Thus there is no foul for deliberate handling. Is there a case for an infringement like PIADM or impeding? Possibly but truthfully my recommendation as a coach, shoot the ball, if he uses his hands to stop it he is sent off you get a PK and if it hits the arms and goes in the goal counts, and he is cautioned, so in my opinion pretty much a win-win.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ben,
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I'm not seeing an offence here. If there is no contact between hand and ball there cannot be a handling offence. I wouldn't see this as an impeding offence either. Impeding for me, means unfairly blocking an opponent's movement - this player is trying to block the ball. And lying down on the ground is not an offence even if the arms are outstretched.

I think the player is being stupid by running a high risk of giving away a penalty and getting a card but it's not against the laws of the game to do stupid things.

There is always the 'catch all' offence of USB by showing a lack of respect for the game but I personally don't see that as being applicable here either.

As my colleagues have said the best course of action here would be to take the shot. If the ball does contact the player's arms then a penalty would be given. The player would most likely be cautioned or, depending on the exact circumstances, might even be sent off.

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