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Question Number: 34417

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/13/2021

RE: Ayso Under 19

Gregory S Tardaguila of Redondo Beach, California USA asks...

I used to get emails from Thomas Bombadilla. It was a “what’s the restart?”
Attacking player with the ball is moving forward in opponent’s goal area. The keeper makes an attempt to challenge for the ball. He blocks the ball and it is still in play. The momentum of both players takes them both across the goal line into the goal off the field of play. The attacker lands on the keeper and purposely holds him down. Play is stopped and the ball never enters the goal. What’s the restart whether the ball remains in play or ends up in the goal by another attacker and how is the situation handled re: the attacker and the keeper?
I don’t feel there is an actual foul since the player incident did not take place on the field

Greg t

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Greg,
Fouls do not have to take place on the field of play. The ball has to be in play but so long as it is, if a player acts in a way that meets the definition of an offence (such as in this case, holding) this must be penalized even if these actions take place outside of the boundaries of the field.

This scenario is covered in Law 12 by the following passage:

"If, when the ball is in play:

a player commits an offence against a match official or an opposing player, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or team official outside the field of play ...
play is restarted with a free kick on the boundary line nearest to where the offence/interference occurred: for direct free kick offences, a penalty kick is awarded if this is within the offender’s penalty area."

So in the example you give, the restart would be a direct free kick to the goalkeeper's team, whether the ball ends up in the net or not.

As this is a free kick to the defending team in their own goal area, it would not have to be taken on the boundary line itself, but could be taken from anywhere in the goal area.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Gregory
As Referee Dawson states much has changed in the Laws of the Game over the past number of years. The Lawmakers want to address what is unsporting behaviour that in the past was not dealt with adequately in the Laws. In the past a goal may have been awarded or the referee would have looked for some part of the offence to have happened on the field of play so that a free kick could be awarded. The referee could also have considered offside for interfering with an opponent in an offside position.
It has been simplified and dealt with fully now under the current Laws as it is a foul by the attacker for holding the goalkeeper even while off the field of play. The restart is a direct free kick to the defending team in the goal area. If it was the goalkeeper that did the holding the restart would be a penalty kick. Referee Grove has quoted the relevant section of Law 12.
If the holding was simply the attacker laying on the goalkeeper deliberately preventing his easy movement then no caution is required. However if it was aggressive or caused unpleasantness between the players a caution could be merited. The caution decision would be treated the same as it would be if the incident happened in the goal area. Many times its just a free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Gregory,

much has changed within the LOTG these past years. Actions that USED to be misconduct only off the FOP into touch are now considered to be fouls as if they DID occur on the FOP during active play. The location of the foul is moved to the NEAREST point of the touchline or goal line from where it occurred. In your case given momentum took the players into touch, THAT alone was fine as part of NORMAL play. What was unfair was the holding by the attacker preventing the keeper from being able to defend his goal . This is a DFK offence. We NO LONGER use uncontested DB restarts or just a caution for USB.
As a DFK the defenders are entitled to take the free kick from ANYWHERE within the goal area as that is the part of the FOP where the ball is returned for the restart. If we were to reverse the action and say have the KEEPER hold down the attacker as a DFK offence THAT would then become a PK as the location of the foul is brought back into the goal area which of course is part of the penalty area.
This extends to the actions of substitutes, substituted players and even team personal from the technical area who interfere unfairly in the game! Effective and we think good changes, as it was rubbish to award contested drop restarts and show cautions for illegal action which denied attacks or goals just because at the time they were classified not as a foul

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