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Question Number: 34928

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/21/2023

RE: Adult

Damianos of Athens, Attiki Greece asks...

I was under the impression that a deliberate handball was always a yellow card.

I checked the laws of the game though, and there is no mention for yellow card on handball unless the hand stops a promising attack.

Would a case like the one on the video bellow be a card? It is an obvious deliberate handball but also obviously it is not a promising attack, we are still on the other end.

3:16 Goalkeeper tries to pass to the left back to avoid pressing(it is not a goalkick or something, we are in play) and the opponent on yellow "blocks" the pass

Thanks in advance

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Damianos
Thanks for the question.

Your search of the Laws of the Game proved correct in that deliberate handling is NOT always a caution. It is the same as any other offence in that there has to be something more for a caution or a dismissal.
The times when it is a caution are when a player interferes with or stops a promising attack or to attempt to score a goal. Deliberate handling to deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity is a dismissal.

So in this example the attacker is in the penalty area trying to intercept the ball from being played out by the goalkeeper to a defender. One could not as shown in the video determine that this is a promising attack and therefore all that needs to be awarded is a direct free kick for handling. There can be other reasons for a caution such as persistent infringement, dissent for the call, lack of respect etc
I make that assumption based on the fact that ball was in play and not a goal kick

If it where a goal kick for instance the attacker by not moving out of the penalty area and interfering with the goal kick by handling may be cautioned for delaying the restart of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Damianos ,
my colleague searched out a video that is permitted to be shown, these darn restrictions on viewing matches in other countries often make it hard for us to find the incident in question.

Good on you for looking into the LOTG and understanding that a caution show a yellow card for handling is not a mandatory requirement unless it was done to halt a promising attack or done with the intent of an attacker to blatantly cheat and score a goal. There are several myths as to what MUST happen versus what could or should happen within the LOTG>!!

In the reverse should it be a defender who is guilty of DOGSO by handling that is in fact a red card dismissal, they play a man down.

In the video the attacker was tight in to the keeper given this appeared to be was regular play the DFK out restart is adequate, I might warn the attacker to smarten up. given at the opposing end of the FOP that WOULD be at least a caution in his PA. If it was a free kick or goal kick then you could expect a caution for the delay of the restart or perhaps failure to respect ten yards. Same as if the keeper had the ball in his hands to punt it and the attacker tried to interfere using the hands. The caution is for the USB of interfering with the release!


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