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Question Number: 34351

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/25/2021

RE: Rec, AYSO Under 19

Mourad Tighiouart of Los Angeles, CA United States asks...

Today September 25, 2021, in a premiere league game Leeds United vs West Ham united, in the 27th minutes, there was a counter attack by leeds united and a west Ham player # 8 briefly held #10 player from Leeds United to stop a promissing attack. The referee signal for the advantage as play continued and the ball went out of play for a throw in to Leeds United. The referee delayed the throw in to give a yellow card to #8.

If the yellow card was for holding that player to stop a promissing attack, was that the corect decision? I think not because of the last statement in the paragraph below taken from IFAB Laws of the game 2021-2022.

The law states:

If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution/sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play. However, if the offence was denying the opposing team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour if the offence was interfering with or stopping a promising attack, the player is not cautioned.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mourad,

I haven't seen the incident - but your description sounds correct.

However, if the holding was severe enough that it warranted a YC, regardless of any attack, then a card would still be issued - same if it was for persistent infringement.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mourad,
Like my colleague ref Wright, I have also not seen the incident in question so I can only really answer in the abstract sense.

I would have to agree with him on both the points that he makes. So, if the yellow card was given simply for stopping a promising attack then it would indeed have been incorrect as per the section of the laws that you have quoted. However if it was given for something else such as showing a lack of respect for the game or for persistent infringement for example, then that would be permissible.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mourad
This was asked recently by a referee and then on a follow up questioning a caution for stopping a promising attack when advantage is played.

Sometimes referees in games are faced with a decision where a caution is *expected* due to an illegal action such as a cynical shirt pull or drag back.
Clearly when a promising attack has not been stopped the SPA caution is mute. The SPA for me is usually a careless challenge rather than a shirt pull or drag back with no attempt to play the ball.
Its akin to the DOGSO penalty where a genuine challenge gets a caution yet a cynical pull down or handling still incurs the sanction of a red card.

The game has a dislike of unsporting behaviour of an egregious nature.
When advantage is played the referee can go back to the offence with a caution at the next stoppage so the referee may have felt that by not cautioning that he was allowing a cynical unsporting act of a pull back or jersey pull to go unsanctioned
To use the words used in 34294 **Hey ref you gonna let him get away with that pull** outlines the expectations of those in the game on cynical offences.
So to me it can be viewed as unsporting behaviour for a reason other than stopping a promising attack.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mourad,
SPA guidlines are not mandatory just reasonable. If the illegal action did not stop the attack why get bothered UNLESS it is of such a nature it fosters retailation, resentment & harm. An example would be PI persistant infringment it was but one of a series of stupid fouls that the culprit was likely already warned to stop doing that . The caution is coming whether or not the attack continued and a goal was scored because the behaviour itself is NOT acceptable in the match. A shirt jerk can be nasty and it can CAUSE other forms if retailiation like the elbow,arm or hand into the face. OFTEN referees MISS the fact that a shirt pull twists the body of the attacker, pulling back on the shoulder it draws a loose arm BACK into the face of the pursuing defender who them smiles as he gets the attacker cautioned or sent off when ACTUALLY he created the problem. We call fouls and judge them as careless reckless or excessive but wedo pay attention to attitude, character & body language tha speaks of unfair actions as misconduct.

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