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Question Number: 21093

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/6/2009

RE: Under 16

Dave of DM, Iowa US asks...

This question is a follow up to question 21078

This question reminds me of a post game discussion I had with a Referee whom I was assisting that involved a send off.

The player disentfully kicked the ball a country mile off the field after being called for a foul. At the time I thought a red card was appropriate but later as I thought of the 7 offenses I wondered if a send off was appropriate.

Could this fall under 'Using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures' where the kicking could be judged to be a gesture? Or perhaps he could be sent off for violent conduct.

Or my main question, could he have been cautioned twice for the exact same incident such as disent and USB?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Offinabus would require some verbal diarrhoea or finger or hand gestures with the kick to qualify for a direct red in my opinion.
Kicking the ball away AFTER play is stopped is certainly an act of disrespect so USB, delaying the restart, dissent all fit as a reason. Only if the ball was deliberately kicked at another player or ref or spectators etc.. Could it be VC and a send off offence? I find it difficult to see how offinabus applies? A ranting player could be guilty of say dissent and then as you book him he kicks the ball away you could then book him a second time for delaying the restart and thus show a red for send off but it is a harsh game changing action and the putz, while he deserves no favours, his team suffers drastically.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Dave, this is at most delaying the restart of play (see the Advice to Referees under Law 12, 12.28.4 in the 2007 version online at I just cannot see how this would be a sending off at all. Kicking the ball away delays the restart, and the referee issues the caution and adds back any time it takes to get the ball retrieved.

Unless there was more to the situation than is revealed above, the referee made a mistake to send off a player for kicking the ball away. If the send off was in relation to the offense, which when called caused the player to kick away the ball in frustration, then there is no need for further punishment, since we can only kill them (send them off) once.

Trying to get a second caution out of this, assuming a caution for delaying the restart, would require the player yelling something amounting to dissent in addition to kicking the ball away or committing some other behavior IN ADDITION to the kicking of the ball away which would merit a caution all by itself.

Yes, a player can be cautioned twice for separate offenses occurring simultaneously or very close to simultaneously. Not recommended, in normal circumstances, but possible.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

If you interpreted the player's kicking the ball away from the field as an offensive gesture, then I suppose you had the power to send him off. However, I think that you would have shown extremely thin skin to such a situation.

At most a caution for dissent or for delaying the restart of play, not both, in my opinion.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Offensive gestures are those that you commonly see in road-rage situations. I'm sure we all know them - and you must have sensitivity to certain gestures that are offensive to certain cultures.

Kicking the ball away does not fall in that category; rather the restart has been delayed. You might also consider any dissent that happens during or near to the kicking away of the ball, and then further consider whether the game would be better served by one caution or two in that situation. The kick could be considered one aspect of the dissent, or a separate action. It depends on what that game needs at that time.

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