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Question Number: 34339

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/19/2021

RE: Professional

fuzesy anatol of Sighetu Marmatiei, mm Romania asks...
Hello,both players run for the ball, red team player was coming from behind,hits his foot in blue players right foot and falls down, or i am mistaken? . Why it was considered a fault? Commentators concluded that it was a foul clear as day.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Fuzesy
Thanks for the question
From the video it looks to me like the Blue player made contact with the Red players leg in a challenge for the ball. It could be considered a trip, a charge or a careless challenge both of which are fouls.
Law 12 tells us that a direct free kick or penalty kick is awarded if a player commits certain offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless. These include
# charges
# tackles or challenges
# trips or attempts to trip

In the modern game there is a tendency for some players to raise their arms in a way that suggests that they were not challenging for the ball or innocent of any contact which brings a player to ground which is not the case.
In the video the Blue defender cannot get to the ball to play it and he makes careless contact with the attacker from behind. It might be soft contact yet Blue has to either play the ball or not make contact with his opponent in the way that he did. The law does not differentiate between the level of contact and that is a judgement call for the referee to make.
In my opinion it was a correct decision and naive defending by the Blue player. If he could not get to the ball then he needed to move left and goal side to stop the attacker progressing with the ball rather than bundling into him from the rear in a way that makes contact and in a situation when he was never getting close to play the ball or even attempting to play the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI there Fuzesy,
The blue player came in to the side of the red attacker and tripped him 100% a PK, 100% correct! Blue made a bad challange created by the speed and position of his mark. A PK no need to caution, a careless challange created a great scoring oppotrtunity
The red player did not swerve into or reach out a leg to block .

Have a look at the 1st part if this clip to see how an attacker can draw a foul by doing exactly what I just mentioned

We look to see which player has the optimal position in playing the ball and which player is challanging to regain that position as they usually (not always) force the issue where they initiate contact. Even accidental contact is not waved even if it seems 50/50, say two opponents go up for a headed ball at the same time in much the same way and smack heads. Both hurt, both had everyright to challange but did one or the other FORCE the issue by say arriving late and jumping up and in as the other was under the ball waiting? Did one player make ball contact and the other did not? Did one player use excessive force or additional actions after the ball was contacted? No matter what challange players attempt they are OBLIGATED to perform that challange safely. I recently watched a keeper recieve a PK caution for punching the ball but his fist carried through into the face of an opponent. Plus how iften have you seen a heaed ball but the shicken wing swing of the arms & elbows create mayhem?

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