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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35440

Law 5 - The Referee 4/9/2024

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

This question is a follow up to question 35437

Based on your answers I have one more question please.

Example: The team A with the advantage immediately (within three seconds) commits a foul.

So do we ALWAYS restart according to team B's original foul?

Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,
nothing is absolute but generally yes!
I can tell you the small variables will be in the timing, circumstances and severity.
For me personally, I stated very clearly that once I call out PLAY ON! I do not go back. Yet I am aware that it takes a bit for the realization to kick in so I rarely scream out both (Advantage) then (Play On! ) right after the other. Other referees might call that out and THEN decide to pull it back. I am also aware one should NEVER say NEVER lol
Here are some conundrums we could face.

Example (1a)
PLAYER A pulls the shirt and frustrates Player 1 who immediately flips up the elbow into Player A' face even as the ball is picked up by Player 2 and is free on to goal to shoot at Player A's keeper the referee was starting to award the advantage but can not ignore the response
DFK for Player 1's team, with yellow card shown to Player A, but red card send off for the misconduct by Player 1, his team plays short though they get the free kick for the pull.

Example (1b)
PLAYER A pulls the shirt and frustrates Player 1 but the ball is picked up by Player 2 and is free on to goal to shoot at Player 1's keeper . Advantage! Play on! was immediately shouted out & signaled but Player 1 now 2 or 3 seconds after we signaled decides to flip up the elbow into Player A just as the shot is on its way. CLEARLY the advantage was realized almost immediately and the retaliation was an idiotic response and wasted the obvious opportunity. DFK to PLAYER A's team for the elbow as a separate action with yellow card shown to Player A, but red card send off for the foul by Player 1, his team plays short.

Example (2)
PLAYER A trips and frustrates Player 1 but in stumbling forward trying to regain control he looks up to see an open team mate and rather than continue, directs a pass out wide . The referee was thinking advantage and smiles as it looks good. They take the ball into the opposition PA and score! VAR reviews the lead up and says the player receiving that stumble pass was offside.

The correct decision here is ambivalent for how we decided what advantage was there? There was no Flag shown to indicate there was an issue so the referee was initially content that advantage was in fact realized! Now it is 100% apparent there was no advantage there to be given! What do you think is fair? No goal INDFK out or DFK for the original trip?

IF advantage was in the process of being evaluated and the AR recognized the offside was 100% and pops the flag the referee should award the tripping foul NOT the INDFK for offside.
Particularly if that stumble was not corrected he might be falling, no full ball control as he was being closed down so on that pass to his offside positioned team mate it has no chance of being advantageous because his opportunity to regain his feet regain ball control and proceed unhindered advantage was never fully realized.

However, if that stumble was now corrected and he had full control and could proceed easily and has taken a few touches then passes to his offside positioned team mate 100% the opposition receive an INDFK. Advantage was realized but a bad decision gave it away!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The simple answer is that if advantage is not realised within the accepted timeframe we punish the original foul.

Advantage will not be realised if a player has to commit an offence within a few seconds. The most common one of these is where a referee plays advantage and the ball is played immediately to a team mate in an offside position. Advantage is not realsed so play is brought back to the original offence.

Now a referee has to consider if an advantage situation truly existed in the first place when a playing foul has to be committed immediately. The offside one does happen as a referee may not anticipate that the offended player who may themselves be in a good position on their own yet passes the ball immediately to a team mate in an offside position. Play has to be brought back. However if play rolls on for a short period of time and advantage is fully realised play is not brought back. That is a judgement call for the referee to make.

At the lower levels of the game the free kick can be the better decision rather than playing advantage. I see questionable advantages played when the situations do not benefit play being allowed to go on. Sometimes these end up as a spat with the fouled team complaining about where is the advantage. I see the odd complaint in games I watch when play is halted for the free kick yet they are rare. Unlike Pro teams who want possession, lower grassroots teams much prefer the free kick so as to be able to get the ball forward say into the penalty area bringing players forward.

So playing advantage is a skill that referees must develop competently. Referees need to evaluate all the advantages played in a game and to form an opinion of what worked and what did not.
I watched a game recently and there was advantage played just outside the penalty area some 20 yards from goal on the right wing. To me while the attacking team had the ball there was no numerical superiority nor clear space to run into yet the referee played advantage. Play stayed in that area for a bit and then the attacking team lost the ball through poor passing. An attacking player dissented the original no call and ended up getting cautioned. The best decision in my opinion was the free kick as it was the better attacking opportunity not the advantage.

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