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Question Number: 29576

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/2/2015

RE: Adult

Anonymous of NA, USA asks...

In a game I refereed as an assistant some time ago, there was a situation on a corner kick. An attacking player who stood on the far post ran around the goal on the back side (off the field) to the near post, where he received a pass from the corner taker. The referee did not notice this movement and I waved my flag, called the referee over, asked him to issue a caution to the player involved for leaving the field without the referee's permission and restart the play with an indirect free kick. Was this correct?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Anon,
If there was a corner kick in progress than there will be no indfk for this action of leaving the FOP.... prior the ball being put in play. At best it could be deemed as USB and cautionable but the corner kick would be retaken if the card was to be issued. Players are permitted to leave the field through natural momentum and avoidance of a collision as justification yet it does say if the referee considers that the player has left the field of play for
..... tactical reasons ... and has gained an unfair advantage by re-entering the field of play, the player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour. The player then needs to ask for the referee's permission to re-enter the field of play. Your INDFK out as a restart would be plausible only if this LTFOPWOTRP action occurred once the ball was in play Especially if the exit had been noted and the referee's permission to re-enter is required.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The first part is that the player committed misconduct by leaving the field of play for tactical reasons before the kick was taken. Generally the referee will deal with this before the kick is taken by asking the player to stay on the field of play. We might even see players walk around the goalkeeper inside the net area and as along as it is just playing movement and he is on the field of play we will ignore those.
Now here the player was deliberately off the FOP, ran around the goal and then re-entered. It is certainly a caution for unsporting behaviour and we are left with the restart to sort out.
Now the referee could deem that the re-entry was the USB part by which time the ball may be in play so it is an IDFK from where play was stopped. That is certainly the *best* restart in the circumstances.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

A referee should not allow play to restart when there is a player (other than the kicker) off the field of play. The easiest solution to problems that may arise is to be proactive before they arise.

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