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Question Number: 35489

Character, Attitude and Control 5/4/2024

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


Let us think of a scenario that a defender commits a serious foul play on an attacker but the attacking team is one-on-one with the defending team's goalkeeper. I guess the referee would play advantage here. After the referee shows play on, the attacking teams shot it saved by the keeper and the ball is cleared. Even if the defender who committed the serious foul play did not involve in the active play in that period of time, can the referee stop play, send the defender off and restart the play with a act with the ball or press the ball until the moment that the ball is out of play.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs,
lets not do that too often ok? lol
waiting for a natural stoppage AFTER a SFP incident is a ticking time bomb of nothing good can result so why do it? Playing advantage after a SFP incident, in my opinion, either a sure goal is resulting within a few seconds or we are stopping play and dealing with it.

It is SUPER irresponsible to try and delay the showing of a red card for a number of reasons! The revenge retaliation incidents , the fact the team due to be punished with a send off could actually benefit if play was allowed to continue, should the opportunity of the one team to score be missed, due to a brilliant save or a hit the wood work & rebound out be actually considered the advantage as realized. A SFP is the excessively unfair challenge on the ball carrier but if it was a VC attack elsewhere, if the incident was so egregious, play might not be even permitted to carry on at all as the need to deal with it outweighs a potential goal or scoring opportunity!

A direct red card delayed, then the player knowing he is going to go, just says, ah heck, and commits another foul of any type? Even if the situation was a second yellow card resulting in an eventual send off, we COULD delay until a natural stoppage. But in doing so we risk the game going south in a hurry. What if this due to be sent off player, -SCORES- a goal? What if he commits a THIRD foul that is reckless or excessive? There was once a held opinion that as long as the soon to be departed player does not participate, we could allow play and his team could in theory score a goal, then we show him a 2nd yellow then red or a direct red card & then restart kick off but it is ludicrous to think it fair.

I'd advise for any referee NOT to dig themselves a hole, if it is a CLEAR red card for SFP or VC or a DOGSO especially if a PK is the result, ONLY a GOAL occurs or we are stopping to take the free kick! You can wait a second to see a result, ball goes in or goes wide without actually calling out and signaling advantage! Let us call it a (wait and see what is going to happen moment) A too quick whistle to punish the foul, which was blatantly unfair could takeaway a goal which would only make what the opposition did wrong, work for them!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
Law 12 tells us and I quote
** Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play, violent conduct or a second cautionable offence unless there is a clear opportunity to score a goal. **

My advice is to wait a second or so and then if a goal has not been scored immediately to stop the game, send off the offender for serious foul play and restart appropriately.

Generally on serious foul play it is always best to stop the game instantly and to dismiss the offender. To not do so increases the potential for retribution and violent conduct. What the law makers dont want to happen is that a goal is scored immediately and the offenders team benefits from his red card offence with a disallowed goal

I always recall in the Champions League final between Arsenal and Barcelona where Lehmann the Arsenal goalkeeper got sent off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Had the referee Terje Hauge waited a second or so he would have seen that Barcelona had scored after the ball fell kindly to Xavi who scored. Instead he had to disallow the goal, red card Lehmann and restart with a free kick outside the penalty area. The referee later admitted his regret in calling the offence so quickly.

Even if the challenge was serious foul play this is what is meant by a clear opportunity to score so the goal could still be counted and the red card could then issue.

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