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Question Number: 34774

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/26/2022

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


one maybe stupid DOGSO question, please.

Situation 1: The player runs towards the goal with the ball at his feet and is fouled from the front by the last defender. (At the moment of the foul, the defender is closer to the goal than the ball.)

Situation 2: The situation is very similar. The difference is that the player moves the ball behind the defender. It is obvious that he will go for the goal alone. (At the moment of the foul, the ball is closer to the goal than the defender.)

Is it possible to whistle the first situation as SPA? Or is it a clear DOGSO just like situation 2? It's not entirely clear to me from the various videos. :-)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

HI Petr
Thanks for the question
As you know a referee has to assess each goal scoring opportunity on the basis of the 4 D criteria set out in the Laws
Direction. Was the play towards goal
Defender. Was there other defenders present capable of defending the goal
Distance. Did the offence happen relatively close to goal
Distance to the ball. Was the fouled player in possession of the ball or capable of easily gaining control of the ball.

A referee has to be able to say YES to all four conditions.

So in Situations 1 and 2 it is highly likely that without the offences that the players would be denied an obvious goal scoring opportunities. The reason for that is the direction is towards goal, it is assumed that the attacker is close to goal, there are no other defenders close by to defend and the attacker has control of the ball.

A NO to any one of the four conditions will negate the DOGSO and then it more likely becomes stopping a promising attack which is a caution. Many referees try to ensure that there is a clear YES to all four conditions. Any doubt and they will go with the caution which as grassroots is probably can be the best call in a game.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,
sigh how are you enjoying the WC? Sigh
my boys got a great first goal but that was all we had to cheer about! lol

As my colleague Ref McHugh points out the DOGSO criteria are 4 distinct aspects that referee must feel are all met. To show the red card and send off for DOGSO putting the team down a player both your scenarios are quite likely to qualify given the attacker could have reacquired the ball if not for the foul and got his shot away.

Where some wriggle room might be if there was a heavy touch by the attacker that preceded the foul? In this case the ball was likely to exit the FOP but not go into the goal or the keeper would get there well ahead BEFORE the attacker could reacquire?
The foul occurs -BEFORE- the ball is out of play, so a PK or DFK would still occur, but if the referee determined the ball was unplayable by the attacker in that the ball was exiting the FOP or into the keeper 's arms without a realistic chance of the attacker recovering to get a shot due to HIS own touch BEFORE the foul. As to the foul itself, the manner & force would still apply as careless reckless or excessive as to a color of card that might be needed.

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