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Question Number: 34381

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/13/2021

RE: Previous referee Adult

Peter Byrne of Sale, Cheshire England asks...

In the England match last night against Hungary why was a penalty given against England when dangerous play is an indirect free kick. There was no attempt by Shaw to deliberately foul the Hungary player. In the rules this should have been an indirect free kick.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Peter,
PIADM involves no contact the opponent is in essence frightend away or worried about injurying himself or the player. I only saw a highlight clip & I never saw any card issued so I would assume the referee, AR and VAR saw the raised high foot and head make contact as a DFK careless kicking foul inside the PA thus a PK?
England needs to put away their chances! Although there was a few suspicious non calls, if England is to win the WORLD Cup they will need to do better!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
Thanks for the question on the incident which can be seen here

The decision rests on whether there was contact or not along with the manner of the challenge. With contact it gets beyond playing in a dangerous manner and it becomes a penal offence rather than a technical one.
It looked like there was contact to the opponents head which was deemed reckless so the referee correctly decided that it was a penalty kick and a caution. Even with the contact bring minimal or questionable the referee can still penalise it as a penal offence.

I would make the point that there is nothing new here in that the old FIFA Questions and Answers in the law book going back years dealt with it as follows
** A player plays in a dangerous manner raising his leg when the opponent tries to head the ball and makes contact with the opponent’s head. What action should the referee take?
He would award a direct free kick * or penalty kick. **

In addition law book at that time stated that ** Playing in a dangerous manner involves no physical contact between the players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable with a direct free kick or penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also been committed.**
The current law book simplifies it by stating ** If an offence involves contact, it is penalised by a direct free kick**
The current law book also states that **Reckless is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned**
I would also make the point that in a bicycle kick there is no attempt to deliberately foul yet the current law states ** A scissors or bicycle kick is permissible provided that it is not dangerous to an opponent.**. Making boot contact with an opponent’s head is dangerous and an offence. There is no attempt to deliberately foul there either yet it is still an offence.

In summary I am of the opinion that the correct decision was made as Shaw’s boot was simply too high making contact with the opponents head and as it was seen as reckless which is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent then that must be a caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter,
If the referee had decided that this was the offence of playing in a dangerous manner, then you would be right that it should have been an indirect free kick.

However, as my colleagues have pointed out, for the PIADM offence to be applicable there cannot be any physical contact. Based on the replays that I saw there was contact (albeit minimal) which changes the offence to either a direct free kick or, as in this case, a penalty.

So quite clearly, the referee did not penalise Luke Shaw for playing in a dangerous manner, he almost certainly penalised him for the offence of kicking an opponent in a reckless manner (assuming he saw contact).

Even if there were no contact (and I personally believe there was) the referee could still have seen this as an attempted reckless kick which would lead to the same penalty kick outcome.

Either way, it wasn't given as PIADM.

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