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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34637

Law 3 - The Players 7/6/2022

steve of Altadena, California asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34636

The answers regarding the restart with a goal scored with an extra player appear to look to the general concepts in the Laws, rather than the specific guidance in Law 3, part 9 on when a goal is scored. Law 3 provides that if a goal is scored with an extra player/sub on the field, the restart is a DFK from the position of that extra player/subnotwithstanding whether the extra person interfered.

(I've wondered if this was just IFAB being sloppy as it seems very inconsistent with the general guidelines (imagine giving a PK because the extra player wandered into the PA!), but it is pretty explicit in Law 3.)

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
You make a good point . There are two factors at play here. One is interference by a person not entitled to be on the field of play and the other is playing with an extra player. While they may be the same in number the why will be totally different.
The general principle in Law 3 is that play should only be stopped if there is interference by the extra person so without interfering it is play on. That could be a physio running on to give a bottle of water in the other half compared to a physio running on to stop a goal scoring opportunity. Same would apply to an extra player interfering with play.

Now in the case of playing with 12 players for whatever reason the referee has to consider why that happened and when plus if it was done for nefarious reasons.

It may even be difficult to determine the location of the extra person at the time of the goal and as you rightly point out if say the extra person was at the other end of the field that will cause all sorts of problems for the referee!!

I believe that the thinking may have been around the extra person being part of play hence the location of the DFK restart but as we know that is not always the case.

IFAB suggests that it is a matter for the referee to decide based on the circumstances. It can be the case that a substitute who goes on the field of play say to retrieve a ball in the other half can be ignored as part of play and dealt with later with a caution only compared to the substitute who kicks the match ball as part of play which will be a caution / dismissal and a direct free kick / penalty restart from the location of the interference.
Playing with an extra player has a more serious sanction in a goal situation and once the extra player is identified and dealt with then the restart is from the position of the extra player wherever that might be. One would think that it would be in the attacking half or at least at half way. In the absence of certainty the referee will make the best decision possible for the game.
I bet you that a straw poll of referees would have the free kick in the goal area for a disallowed goal when the extra player is only identified before the restart? The important part is that the goal is disallowed, the extra player sanctioned and the best restart possible in the circumstances.

As always prevention is better than cure.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steve excellent observation.

The issue is WHEN and who and to a certain extent why? The fact is, often when an extra player (s) wandering about on the FOP you as the referee are often complicit in as much as poor substitution practices versus sneaky cheaters .

When the powers that be muck about with fair play principles to avoid perception arguments often we get weirdness in odd situations.

Think a bit on HOW and WHO winds up with extras? Grassroots kids! Unlimited subs and wholesale line changes like hockey lol.

I think they were addressing a real cheater versus a misplaced kid, like running onto the field to stop a goal by kicking the ball away from goal, TRUE interference, & thus replace the lost opportunity with a DFK PK in as much as awarding a DFK out to a goal scorer now nullified at the other end who perhaps should not be on the field shooting if indeed he was the 12th player..

The consequences / punishments are more appropriate than the old DBs and INDFKs of the past .

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