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Question Number: 35506

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/12/2024

RE: Competitive Adult

James of London, United Kingdom asks...

The ball goes out for a corner and no one from the attacking team goes to take it. Who does the ref book for time wasting? If the answer is the closest player to the ball. What if all the players are an equidistant from the ball?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi James
There is no clear answer to this question. The referee should exert strong pressure on the kicking team to get on with play. The captain can be used to exert that pressure to get on with play. It would be somewhat of an arbitrary decision to just pick a player because of location and a player will feel aggrieved for being cautioned for doing nothing even when he is not expected to do anything by his team. It could even result in a red card for a 2nd caution!

I believe the referee should wait to see who moves forward to take the kick and then caution that player. The referee should add on the time lost through the delay with a strong admonishment that time wasting will not be tolerated. The next delay gets an immediate sanction of a card as well.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi James,
rather odd situation to think no one is going to want the game to continue? If no spectator or person is about to assist in recovery or watching is capable of tossing it back and the two teams are not interested, I feel something must be motivating such ignorant behaviour?

Did the ball disappear into the bush or nearby river? If there is such a problem present where nearby bushes water, or road slant creates difficulty in ball acquisition into touch the home team/local association should be mandatorily responsible for ensuring ball recovery into the bylaws of the organization.

You do not send your ARs to retrieve the ball. As neutral officials they are not supposed to be involved. Mind you to stop a ball from exiting into the bush, river/water or over a fence onto the road it would not destroy their integrity or credibility should they have made a practical attempt to stop it. It is primarily in the speed in which the restart occurs, if it generates an attacking option by the intervention teams tend to get irritated!

Just look at the watch stop time take a seat and say, "Seriously?" While engaging the captain or manager with eye contact, "Well if no one wants to continue I will be forced to abandon the match!" Whether a caution is necessary where common sense should prevail will depend perhaps on the attitudes and behavior of those involved. I suppose the referee might choose the corner kicker over the captain or indicate which player balked at retrieving it by being lazy as the individual to caution. Yet a warning to the team manage or coach to designate someone or face disciplinary measures might work as well since this situation is somewhat silly!

If the DEFENDING team decides what the heck and retrieves the ball and the opposition get on with it, I will afford the defenders with every courtesy to be sure they are NOT disadvantaged. You should certainly, add the time, if the opposition are engaged in playing. I recall teams lollygagging on recovery, especially when they were winning, thinking to use time up. This was actions from the keeper and goal kicks to corners and free kicks as well a throw ins. I ensured I added up ALL of it, if the opposition was in fact behind. If the team doing it, suddenly found themselves losing and thought they had all that time stored, funnily I never seemed to remember it as being as much as it might have been. Although I tend to call out those that do delay and if cautioned, they, as well as the opposition, are aware of time being added!


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