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Question Number: 34598

Law 5 - The Referee 5/22/2022

RE: Rec. Adult

Charlie J Lee of Auburn, WA United States asks...

Attacking player kicked the ball near penalty box area and I blow whistle for foul instead of giving advantage but the ball went into defender's goal net.
Is this goal awarded even after foul signal?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Charlie
Unfortunately not. Once the signal to stop play was made no further play could be allowed. The only possible restart in Law is a direct free kick for the foul / offence and any disciplinary action that is required.

Now most referees have been in this position by signalling too soon near goal for an offence. The better approach is to adopt a *wait and see* which allows time for the referee to consider if there is a possible advantage or if not then the offence can be called.

In your situation had you held off on the signal you could have allowed advantage and awarded the goal.

I showed this video in a recent question

It was a DOGSO red card yet the best decision was to allow the advantage and then issue a caution with the goal allowed. As it turned out the referee Terge Hauge stopped play immediately and by doing so he had to disallow the goal that Barca *scored*. He could not allow the goal after signalling to stop play.

He later said that he regretted not allowing the advantage and his reasoning was that he was solely focussed on the red card and stopping play for that rather than allowing the advantage which was a clear opportunity to score a goal. Two seconds at most was all that was required.

The learning point is that there is no need to make fast decisions around the penalty area or for that matter elsewhere and the better decision can be to wait and see and then make the call. In addition the obvious key point is that once a referee signals for play to stop even inadvertently play CANNOT continue. On the inadvertent whistle the restart is a DB where the ball was when play was stopped to the team in possession or if inside the penalty area to the goalkeeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Charlie,
This is why we advocate the (wait and see delay) on fouls where there is any possibility the ball might makes it way into the goal.

Once you blow the whistle, play is considered DEAD and if the ball has NOT yet crossed the goal line under the crossbar and between the posts, by the LOTG, no goal can be awarded.
That said, I have seen even at the pro level a whistle sounding as the ball is in fact being deposited into the back of the net. The referee KNEW he was hasty but chose to award the goal rather than PK and send off the defender! It was a deliberate handling that rebounded into the goal as the whistle was sounding. We questioned him and he admitted he was in fact in error via LOTG.

At THAT time, there was no VAR and as the ball was in the process of crossing the goal line he could sell the caution only for trying but failing to stop the goal and kick off and the team happy with the goal and the defenders glad not to be shorthanded it was a win win even if he was railed post game for blowing too early!

While you might be able to sell that in a friendly grassroots kick around without VAR and the level of accountability that currently is demanded no way that flies at the elite level. My colleague Ref McHugh's example on the disallowed Barcelona goal reflects that approach.

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