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Question Number: 34930

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/21/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34911


I would like to ask a question about accidental handball by the attacking team in DOGSO situations.

Assume that an attacker is 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper inside the penalty area but the ball accidentally hits the attackers hand/arm. Then, a defender pulls down the attacker inside the penalty area and causes a penalty kick. In this case, shall the defender be sent-off or cautioned? I ask because even if the attacker scored, the goal would not count as the ball hits his/her arm.

Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
First off the penal offence of pulling the attacker down inside the penalty area is punished by a penalty kick.

The next part is what sanction should be given to the defender for the offence. As a goal cannot be scored immediately and directly by the attacker after an accidental touch of the ball on the arm it cannot be denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. That assumes that the attacker could do nothing else with the ball such as a pass to a team mate.
It is also unlikely to be a caution for stopping a promising attack if no other option being available to the attacker such as a pass etc.

So as written it is a penalty kick only based on the only option of the lone attacker attempting to score.
Whether than comes to pass or not has many variables including the playing options, what has been seen of the handling, are there other factors such as persistent infringement etc.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Crebs,
the made up gift of a free kick created by an accidental handling leading to a goal was always about perception and to eliminate any sense it was an ill-gotten treasure! Awarding a DFK out from the location where it occurs generally offers no great attacking option either so I guess it is a fairplay compromise of sorts and removes the referee opinion from the equation.

DOGSO by handling the ball or fouling the attacker after a ball strikes the arm of the attacker!

Technically if the ball accidentally hits the arm of the attacker, no matter how it occurs, the LOTG do not permit an immediate goal to be counted! Whether the ball is knocked down by a defenders' hand to not enter the goal or the attacker is wrestled to the ground. killing the attack, DOGSO really cannot apply unless there was additional attackers who were in the area that could. A PK and a caution for the USB actions would suffice.

Lets consider if our attacker was in fact fouled, then, as he fell, the arm and ball were to accidentally impact, creating the restricted no chance to immediately score? However, if the defender then handled the ball and failed to prevent it from entering the goal could we apply advantage?

Given the criteria for DOGSO were likely met initially at the time of the foul the reasons to show a red card are met, as such, the defender is certainly going to be shown a red card and sent off, his team playing a man down. You can not send off and count the goal.

I think it is slightly plausible to count a goal achieved via advantage if the defenders actually knock the ball in -after- it was accidentally handled by the attacker especially if the goal was uncertain to have occurred, without the extra action by the defender. Then no need to send off, restart kick off. Yet if the ball did simply bounce in off the arm of the attacker and the defender did not redirect, its a red card send off pk reduce the team a player all over again. Its just the goofy immediate aspect of the ball to arm attacking option that creates some conundrums where the LOTG do not allow us to change the outcomes!

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