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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34945


RE: adult fifa

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


one 'restart' question, please.

Part of the 12.4 rule:

If the ball is in play and a player commits a PHYSICAL OFFENCE inside the field of play against:

•an opponent – an INDIRECT or direct free kick or penalty kick

•a team-mate, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, team official or a match official – a direct free kick or penalty kick'

Can you explain when an INDIRECT free kick will be awarded? I'm a little surprised. :-)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,

I think the answer to this lies in the difference between a physical offence and an offence that involves contact.

Physical just means that it involves use of the body - it doesn't necessarily mean that there is contact between the player and someone else.

For instance playing in a dangerous manner is a physical offence (as opposed to say, a verbal or technical one) and is punished by an indirect free kick. Similarly, impeding (without contact), preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball (again, when no contact is involved) and initiating a deliberate trick to circumvent the law are also physical offences punishable by an IFK.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Thanks for the question
The instances when an indirect free kick are listed on Law 12 and I quote
# plays in a dangerous manner
# impedes the progress of an opponent without any contact being made
# is guilty of dissent, using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or action(s) or other verbal offences
# prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it
# initiates a deliberate trick for the ball to be passed (including from a free kick or goal kick) to the goalkeeper with the head, chest, knee etc. to circumvent the Law, whether or not the goalkeeper touches the ball with the hands the goalkeeper is penalised if responsible for initiating the deliberate trick
# commits any other offence, not mentioned in the Laws, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player
An indirect free kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area, commits any of the following offences:
# controls the ball with the hand/arm for more than six seconds before releasing it
# touches the ball with the hand/arm after releasing it and before it has touched another player
# touches the ball with the hand/arm, unless the goalkeeper has clearly kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play, after:
** it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate
** receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

The most frequent IDFK is for the offence of offside. The one IDFK that is rarely seen now is impeding as most impeding offences ends up with contact which elevates it to a direct free kick.
As to why an IDFK is awarded the law makes a difference between a penal offence which has a direct free kick and a technical offence which has an indirect free kick restart.
PIADM involves no contact yet is seen as a physical offence against an opponent hence the IDFK. Similarly verbal offences do not involve a physical offence as would technical offences committed by the goalkeeper inside the penalty area. So a player shouts something offensive insulting and abusive the restart would be an IDFK after the player is dismissed.

For what its worth the only time that the IDFK is truly a factor is usually the PIADM close to goal where a goal can be scored. Most other times a directly scored goal is rarely a consideration and I personally have never been troubled with a directly scored goal from an IDFK. Obviously it is essential to know the Law and to signal with the raised arm an IDFK restart.
I hope that helps

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