Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 35581

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/18/2024

RE: Adult

Douglas Wix of Liverpool, UK asks...

Hello. In the France v Austria match yesterday WOBER the Austrian player, who was on a yellow card, blatently pushed Griezmann causing him a bad cut, why wasn't WOBER given a 2nd yellow, thereby then a red card?
I thought the, referee was poor overall, too many stoppage too. Dougie, YNWA

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Douglas
Let me deal with the stoppages part. The game unfortunately has allowed too many stoppages to interfere in matches. Players now stay down for any *reason* be it cramp or the slightest knock and if there is a substitution a player may go down and stay down until a team mate is ready to come on.
An example was Mbappe’s substitution where he was already off the field yet came back on to sit down. Okay he was cautioned yet they are many other examples of this tactic where there is no sanction. Throw in VAR into the mix and it has added significantly to the amount of stoppages.
Some league including the EPL has tried to introduce measure to try to deal with stoppages. Delaying the players return after injury, more cautions for delaying the restart and lengthy added time periods were such changes.
IFAB also introduced measures such as substituted players leaving at the closest boundary line and not holding up play to issue a caution before a restart which can now be done at the next stoppage.
I believe other measures are being discussed to help speed up the game and dealing with what is called tempo disruption.

As to the Wober incident there are a number of factors to be taken in account
As it is a tournament rather than a long season I suspect referees have been advised by the UEFA referee committee that incidents need to be egregious, stonewall etc before the ultimate sanction.
Case in point is recent World Cups where the number of red cards has fallen significantly. In 2006 in Germany there were 28 red cards to 4 in Russia and 4 in Qatar. That was a conscious decision by the FIFA Referee Committee through tournament policy directives and no doubt the advice is present here as well.
The second point is that had Griezmann not got a cut on the head off the advertising board it would have attracted little if any attention. The charge itself was probably not excessively dangerous yet the outcome certainly was.
Had the charge happened on the field of play I believe no action would be taken.
In the Portugal v Czech game there was a rough charge by a Portuguese player on a Czech defender over the goal line in the 2nd half. No action was taken and it was only the defender staying down that prompted the referee to move in that direction. Eventually the defender got up and play restarted with no intervention.
It is not unlike the EPL where referees have been asked to allow a higher level of physicality than heretofore.

At grassroots these would could likely be a caution particularly with contact on fencing. I saw a referee caution a player recently for a similar charge with the player making heavy contact with the pitch fencing.


Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 35581
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 35584

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>