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Question Number: 29068

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/25/2014

RE: rec Under 14

Daniel of Jupiter, Florida USA asks...

OK, so if you are the CR of a U13 game and its going all well until team A gets a breakaway but the team A forward loses the ball and team B starts a counter attack. During this team the team A midfielder strikes his own teammate out of anger for losing the ball.Would their be any type of disciplinary action against the player, if so what, and what would the restart be.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Daniel,

There are 3 potential issues here:

1) Did a foul occur? Answer: No. The relevant law is 'strikes or attempts to strikes an opponent' - all can only be committed against an opponent (except deliberate handling, because no opponent is involved). So it cannot be a direct free kick.

2)So how do we handle the striking? Because the player hit another player without challenging an opponent for the ball, we're looking at Violent Conduct (all yellow and red card offences are misconduct). Violent Conduct doesn't require an opponent to be involved - it can be committed against a teammate, match or team official, spectator - even an animal (yes, it has happened!). Striking a teammate is naturally a violent act, so therefore it fits into Violent Conduct, so the player would be shown the red card and sent from the field of play.

3)What about the counterattack? If you stop play here, the free kick awarded is the final Indirect Free Kick offence in Law 12: 'commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player' (Because as I said, it's not a foul, but you're stopping play for the misconduct anyway). This is taken from where the offence occurred. So if you stop play, it could mean the other team loses a lot of field position. This is unfortunate. If the fight is continuing, you must stop play, no option. If it stops as soon as it starts you may wish to apply advantage and send the player off at the next stoppage - but I usually recommend strongly against that. There's a risk the player could commit another serious act before the ball goes out of play, that his victim may retaliate - or even just that play continues for a long time and the player makes a significant contribution (say, stopping or scoring a goal) and then needs to be sent off. I'd only consider playing advantage here if the other team had a massive, massive advantage (eg a good opportunity at goal, if they're running upfield with the defence on the back foot).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Daniel
Should this happen the referee will stop play and dismiss the Team A midfielder who is guilty of violent conduct and the restart is an indirect free kick from where the offence took place.
Players can only commit penal fouls against opponents so in this case it is misconduct against a team mate so as Law 12 says it is an indirect free kick restart when a player **commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player**
A referee might be tempted to play advantage here. That is not a good idea in violent conduct situations. It can escalate and the advice is to deal with it immediately except say where the next kick is a goal scoring opportunity to the offended against team. That will only be a few seconds or so anyway so there will be little delay in dealing with the VC.

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy


I am shocked to hear that in a pre-teen game such a thing happened. I hope this is a rare exception in Florida.

This is clearly violent conduct. The game is stopped immediately, the player, who committed the misconduct is shown the red card and sent from the field of play.

Since there was no foul, the restart is IFK for team B from the point, where the misconduct occurred.

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