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Question Number: 34695

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/8/2022

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


I have questions and situations, please.

1) The rules say this: 'If a referee is incapacitated, play may continue under the supervision of the other match officials until the ball is next out of play.'

What does it mean? :-) Can the referee stop the match with his whistle if he is injured? Does the inue?

2) Player A goes with ball around the touchline. The ball goes out of bounds and then returns to the court. Player B catches player A by the hand. A referee calls a throw-in. Can referee give player B a yellow card?

3) Player in OFFSIDE scores deliberately by hand (the assistant referee raises the flag earlier). Can referee give this player a yellow card?

4) Player in OFFSIDE POSITION scores deliberately by hand (the assistant referee raises the flag at the moment of contact). Can referee give this player a yellow card? Is there a difference from point 3)?

5) Defender intentionally stops a shot that goes into the goal with his hand. Opponent in offside position challenging this defender. Can a defender be cautioned for handball?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
1. Yes the referee can stop play if he is injured. The restart is from where play was stopped.
In relation to allowing play to continue the laws allow play to continue to the next stoppage if an assistant clearly sees play. The reason is that say in a goal scoring situation it would be unfair to halt play due to a referee being incapacitated when nothing untoward has happened requiring play to be stopped.
2. I see no reason for a card here as play was stopped for the ball out of play and the holding had no impact on play.
3. Yes. A player can be cautioned for an unsuccessful attempt to score with the hand. Is a card required? As a goal cannot be scored then a referee could simply go with the IDFK
4. Same answer as 3. It makes no difference when the flag is raised.
5. As there is an offside offence no goal was possible so nothing has been denied therefore no red card is possible nor is a caution possible as there is no offence by the defender.

As a general principle I believe referees should do the minimum required to control and manage a game. Uncertain situations where nothing has been denied or there is no blatant USB do not require a card.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Petr,

1) The referee can certainly stop the match if they're injured - I think the reason for this line in the laws is that if the referee doesn't immediately stop play (say, he's unconscious or too dazed), that what happens is still 'valid' - the AR is able to effectively determine if, say, a goal is scored.

Though if I was AR and play was continuing, given that the referee appears seriously injured I'd probably pull out my whistle (ALL officials should carry full kit!) and stop play fairly quickly unless there's an imminent goal.

2) I'm a little unclear as to what you're describing here - usually holding offences are Stopping a Promising Attack, which wouldn't apply here.

3) The LOTG states that an unsuccessful attempt to score with the hand is still a yellow....does this apply to situations where the opportunity to score didn't even exist? I think there's a bit of ambiguity there. I'd lean away from a card, to be honest, as play effectively stopped before the handling, so there was no attack. Could have a quick word with the attacker next time he's nearby to remind him that handling there is a yellow.

4) No different to 3

5) The referee needs to consider if the offside offence - the challenge /deliberate action to play the ball which impacted the defender's ability to play the ball - occurred first. It likely did, so I'd be inclined towards avoiding the card, but perhaps a word with the defender to remind him that he's lucky.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,

at the grassroots I do multiple matches, so pulling up for a cramp while you, the player, are on a breakaway, is hardly fair to you is it now? Non serious injury, the AR can watch until the shot is taken, be it saved or missed and then we can stop and sort out the cramp. Circumstances and a practical application of common sense. Now if I take a full shot to the groin or face from a few yards or my leg goes crack because someone steam rolls over me and suddenly I scream with a 90 degree bent knee in the wrong direction chances are I can not even blow the whistle so common sense would dictate the ARs would step in to stop play, same as I would as referee if say a player was injured in the same manner.

Once a ball is noted to be 100 % completely over the side or goal lines into touch, play is halted or it should be if it is noticed. It could be delayed if say the referee was screened but the AR signaled it as such and then the referee responded with a whistle. A player is permitted to move slightly outside into touch, whilst the ball remains in play through natural momentum and circumstances. Avoiding a collision is grounds for such a maneuver. If that player was held/grabbed by an opponent and the ball WAS still in play ON the field that would be a DFK kick at that point along the touch or goal line, even upgraded to a PK if within the PA portion of the goal line. However ONCE the ball is completely outside into touch any handling or grabbing AFTER be it on or off the FOP that is only a form of misconduct . Unless it was blatantly reckless and harsh no card is required. It certainly could not change the restart from the 3 possible reasons play is now halted for, be it a corner kick, goal kick or throw in!

(3 & 4)
If the player was seen to be deliberately redirecting a ball using the arm sneakily or blatantly into the opponents goal it could be grounds for a caution but given ANY goal scored off the arm / hand is automatically not awarded even if accidental likely a DFK out restart with no card would be likely. The fact the player was offside at the time the INDFK out was already in progress so to speak. Remember the flag is only for the referee, it is the AR indicating, that in their opinion, there is INVOLVEMENT by a player who was in the offside position when his or her team mate last played/touched the ball. It would be a senseless needless reason to be cautioned and the player an idiot for doing so. I would likely award an INDFK out in both cases and chastise the attacker for being silly!!

(5) If a defender uses their hands to play an incoming shot be it a deliberate save or accidental redirect into their own goal that goal would count and if it did not score a red card for the DOGSO is quite likely as could they be cautioned for the attempt should it fail and a score does still result . HOWEVER, you state an opponent in an offside position is challenging , if there is INVOLVEMENT of a PIOP BEFORE this handling occurs then the interference is an INDFK out and likely we chastise the defender for being foolish. There is no red card as DOGSO is not possible and why caution, for what purpose? To remind the defender he is an idiot?

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