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Question Number: 34338

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/18/2021

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I wish to ask a question about pre-restart misconducts committed by the attacking team.

Say, player A10 is preparing to take a corner kick. Just after referee's whistle and just before the ball is in play, player A5 pushes one of his/her opponents. Then, player A10 crosses the ball and player A2 scores a goal. The referee sees the misconduct but since VAR is in use, he/she delays his/her whistle until the ball is in the net. At this point, what should be the correct restart?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Crebs,
The correct restart is a kickoff by the team who just conceded a goal. Misconduct while the ball is out of play does not change subsequent events once play has restarted.

However, since as you say the referee saw the misconduct, he should not have allowed the corner to be taken in the first place. The referee should have blown the whistle to stop the corner kick, should have dealt with the misconduct and then should have allowed the corner to proceed.

A referee should not delay a decision for misconduct occurring before a restart, precisely because once play has restarted after the misconduct, the outcome of the later events cannot be altered.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
A whistle is not required for a corner kick to be taken.

As the referee has seen the misconduct which happened before the ball was put in play the referee if he felt it deserved a card should have whistled to stop the kick being taken and dealt with it before the kick or as te kick is being taken. That is the advice in the law book and also by referee bodies. Deal with the situation before the restart. I believe based on that advice these situations rarely arise and in fact it has become tiresome the way many referee intervene before corners and free kicks with no cards issued. Whatever about advantage and a wait and see there is no benefit whatsoever in allowing a restart when the attacking team offends in a way that it is misconduct and / or requires a card.

On paper as the referee allowed play to restart after the misconduct was observed his only option is to award the goal. The referee has no option to caution A5 as by allowing the restart the opportunity to caution has passed. The reality in a game situation would be different in my opinion.
If it was a defender who offended, the law allows for a quick restart and for the referee to issue the card at the next stoppage which was a recent change.

The misconduct happened BEFORE the restart so all VAR can do is inform the referee that there was an offence before the restart not while the ball was in play. If it was unseen or uncertain by the referee then he can revisit the situation with help from an AR or VAR yet that is an integrity issue for the referee plus he may be questioned by an observer as to what transpired and if he saw it. The referee would have made a serious error to allow play to continue if he seen it and he did not deal with it. In the unlikely event as described in your question the referee could opine he did not see it clearly then he could caution A5 and retake the corner citing that he needed AR or VAR assistance.

As a final point referee are not permitted to give *no decision* and refer the situation to the VAR. If the referee decides not to stop play for an alleged offence, the decision to allow play to continue can be reviewed. On rare occasions, when it is unclear whether a yellow card offence is a red card, or who should receive the card, the referee may consult the VAR official.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Crebs,

This all on the way a referee SELLS this decision in as much as the proceedure and mechanics of collecting and acting on information before or during a restart sequence. We can dig a hole and bury outselves or we can make an escape and carry on!

Look if a referee is already aware cardable misconduct of such magnitude that occurs prior to the corner kick by the attacking team or even some blatant actions that creates an unfair chance to score only an obtuse referee allows that restart to count or proceed.

In MY opinion play is already stopped.

If I actually blew the whistle to signal only to realize Opps! there were shenanganns that REQUIRED our intervention. I blow the whistle again long and loud to to stop the play. Waiting till the goal occurs is NOT going to win you a gold medal no matter your explanation. Especially if you were to caution or send off the goal scorer as the guy who did the misconduct earlier. Prepare to be eviserated by the teams and your assessor

As mentioned the corner is not ALWAYS restarted with a whistle. It does require a ball be placed correcly and kicked and its plausable the restart is ongoing before a referee reacts to that earlier misconduct by a second or two.

No team that cheats should benifit just because of a delay or miscommunication.

The LOTG wanted to be sure a neutral official could not rewrite history not ignore it!

As far as I am concerned if a goal resulted from a corner where the attacking team cheated, say an elbow into the side of the keeper thrown by the waiting attacker spotted by the AR missed by the referee .

WE retake that corner after cautioning or sending off for that misconduct as it was only a delay of communication not something seen and ignored! Or we could accept it occured in play and award a free kick out showing a card if required! .

VAR would SHOW the timing so you MUST go with at the pro level as the timing is critical to how you proceed. Grassroots think on what the spirit of the LOTG & common sense dictate ?

There is a HUGE diffrence to see and apply advantage, if a defender did the deed than if the attacker, because if an attacking goal occurs you are not allowing it where as in the defender being guilty you could ignore the misconduct reatart kick off and warn the defender who did the deed he is lucky to be on the FOP.

In a match where a player spit in the face of a defendng opponent just ahead of when the ball was put into play prior to a free kick that was taken and scored. The referee was not aware but the AR was. It took a few moments to make the referee aware and the goal was scored but, NO kick off has occured. The player was shown the red card, sent off reducing his team by a player and the free kick retaken rather than a goal kick out. This was argued because what if that free kick HAD missed . We do the same and retake after the sendng off but they score? Have we created a problem or fixed it according to the LOTG?

You can not just ignore the spitter as retaliation and uglyliness will transpire.


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