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Question Number: 34806

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/16/2022

RE: Amateur Adult

Mühenned ELSEYHO of Onikisubat, Kahramanmara? Turkey asks...

Hi how are you , I have multi qustions about SLIDiNG

Is sliding legal only when the player can touch the ball? Is sliding with both feet acceptable? Is sliding in front of the player and not from his side correct? If the defender slipped and did not touch the ball or the attacker, and the attacker managed to escape from him, but lost his balance, does the referee count a foul? can you provide the basic rules for the referee to deal with slipping cases..

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mühenned,

A sliding tackle where a defender goes to ground is a desperation tackle by a beaten defender out of position. They are risky because depending on the angle of attack, momentum and force used, they often endanger the opponent even IF a ball might be contacted first. Not only cautionable as in unsafe or a deliberate SPA (stop a promising attack) but red card and send off as potentially career ending for SFP or VC as well as DOGSO criteria to be considered.

Any tackle instigated into and THROUGH the opponent is likely to create a foul because it is at minimum careless and MOST likely endangering their safety! Jumping at or sliding into an opponent with locked legs is not a good challenge given the force and danger to the opposition's safety. If it from a hidden direction or through the legs at the back where an opponent might be totally blindsided. Once the body is launched it essentially is now a projectile missile of mass and speed, aimed at the opposition! Sliding along the ground has committed yourself to an uncontrolled action unlike if you were standing up right and jockeying your marker! It will be judged as careless, reckless or excessive as to the force used in creating the contact of any body especially the studs into ankles, feet, shins, knee, thigh, leg or any exposed body part in its path including crotch, gut, chest, and face.

The safer slide tackles are generally V shaped at angle or straight across with a single leg outstretched and the other bent back you MUST contact the ball first and are not going through the player but certainly in front or causing the attacker perhaps to try and maintain their feet as you are on the ground in front of them. If the opponent was only to FALL over (not considered as a TRIP) an outstretched single leg there might be no foul present . Losing their balance or having to jump over because in effect YOU got there first so they need to try & avoid you, at least in part because if they showed too much of the ball your slide tackle if well timed is NOT illegal JUST because some contact MIGHT occur. .

Two footed tackles into opponents' are usually a very poor idea, Scissoring with the trail leg is almost a guarantee of a trip even if the ball was contacted first. If you are going into a hard tackle realizing crap I am not winning this, make an effort to pull out MIGHT save you from a red to just yellow or a careless just a foul from a reckless yellow.

It is plausible to caution a slide tackle even if its a clean miss slide tackle where the opponent manages to avoid contact by acrobatically jumping out of the way. I recall the Rooney tackle my Colleague Ref Mc Hugh often uses to show the nature of how and what a player does can be interpreted as dangerous and USB by the referee.

Coaches should teach players to stay on their feet as much as possible .

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mühenned
A slide tackle is like any other tackle with the difference that a player choses to slide on the ground rather than challenge from an upright position.

So a referee will evaluate any challenge to include the challenger’s proximity to the play, the attempt to play the ball, the ability to play the ball, force used in the challenge and any ulterior motive or negative intent of the challenger. Contact on a player before playing the ball is also a key consideration

A player that leaves the ground with both feet has no control so it is certainly a foul when done in a reckless manner when executed close to an opponent and if heavy contact is made on an opponent it likely to be serious foul play and a red card.

If a player slips and makes no contact with the ball or an opponent many referees may ignore that and allow play to continue. However if the action was considered careless or reckless a referee would be entitled in calling a foul.

When sliding there is a greater chance that if not executed correctly that a players studs/ cleats would be showing. Contact on a players leg with the sole of a boot is most definitely careless and most likely reckless which at minimum is a caution. If excessive force is used it is serious foul play and a red card.
The law book tells us that "" Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force or endangers the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.""

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