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Question Number: 1669

RE: Rec

Paul of Plymouth, asks...

Say if play is in the midfield and two players are having an off-the-ball confrontation in one of the penalty areas. When stopping the game, how do you restart - do you award a penalty or continue with a drop ball from where the play was when you stopped the game?..This is a situation I've wondered about and would appreciate your help!..Thanks, Paul

Answer provided by Referee stewart

If you have had to stop play due to a fight that you have seen, then the correct decision is either a Penalty or Direct Free kick depending on who was the first aggressor. If it was the defender then a Penalty should be awarded to the opposition. If the attacker, then a Direct Free Kick to the defending team where the incident took place. If you cannot determine which player started it and advice is not available from Assistants then you have to choose your offender. In that situation I would be inclined to favour the Direct Free Kick to the defending team as this would be the least damaging if I was wrong. Both players would of course be red carded before play continued.

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Answer provided by Referee miller

If there is no identifiable initial aggressor, then the fairest thing to do is to award a DFK to the defenders, which will restart the game with no advantage to either team. Remember, even more important than strict adherence to the letter of the Laws, is adherence to the Spirit of the Laws.

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