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Question Number: 22698

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/3/2010

RE: Competitive Under 17

russ r of manchester, ct usa asks...

A defender strikes a referee in his own penalty area. What is the correct referee response? I believe that the player should be red carded and sent off the field for violent conduct. Is it also a PK due to the location of the foul?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The colour of the card is correct and the sending off correct but the restart can not be a DFK offence thus upgrades to PK inside the penalty area because a referee is NOT an opponent, but a neutral observer. As the violent act CAN NOT be a foul it can only be MISCONDUCT, the restart is an INDFK assuming the match is not abandoned where the referee can choose to continue or be replaced if unable to continue, from the point of the infraction subject to law 13 special circumstances in the goal area! As my colleague suggests assault charges, legal proceedings and a life time ban are likely in store for the player

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

The player is sent off and shown a red card. The referee probably should file assault charges.
Striking a referee is not a foul. Fouls can only be committed against players so no penalty kick. The restart is an Indirect free kick

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

This is not a foul. This is a misconduct. Red card for violent conduct and a 911 call to police so this miscreant can be arrested for assault -- and referee, PLEASE press charges!!! -- Restart indirect free kick from the point of the misconduct.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Correct restart is an IDFK. In this part of the world referees are advised to abandon the game after an assault and then to follow a set of guidelines which includes reporting the matter to all the relevant authorities including the police.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Our recert instructor gave the acronym BOO for fouls:
Ball in play
On the field
against an Opponent

If all 3 of those things are not present, it is not a foul. As the referee is not a player, she is not an opponent, and thus any action against her is not a foul. Thus the restart is an indirect free kick, based on Law 12: 'commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player'

That said, if players are so out of control that they are slugging the referee, it's probably time to get out of there. Abandon the game, write it all up, and get the police involved in an assault and battery charge.

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