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Question Number: 30227

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/30/2016

RE: Other

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

The new IFAB rulebook has been announced with several changes for the 2016-17 year. Among them is a change in the 'triple punishment,' which has been reduced to a yellow card when the defender makes a clear attempt at playing the ball and instead carelessly fouls the attacker. All other instances, including holding and fouls outside the PA, can be considered for a send off under DOGSO criteria.

I personally don't like this change, as it defeats the purpose of the (former) DOGSO clause. It also will cause the referee to make an additional decision on these fouls, whether or not the defender was trying to play the ball, opening up another reason for heavy scutinizing by media and fans alike.

Also cutting the rulebook in half (20,000 words down to 10,000) on an otherwise small book seems excessive and uneccesary. Most rulebooks I see are 8.5x11 paper, over 200 pages, much larger than the half-sheet 140-some odd page book FIFA produced.

All the other changes that are announced (we have yet to see the actual language) I can understand why they put it in, even though I may not agree that these are the best solutions.

Your thoughts?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
When the DOGSO law was first introduced it was to deal with the cynical, professional fouls that were blatantly unfair and unsporting. Over the years the interpretation has widened and as referees we have all had situations where we felt that a dismissal was not the best decision in the circumstances. Many times referees looked for some sort of out clause to keep the player on the field of play and that was not always possible without stepping outside of the LotG. In addition the triple punishment in some instances was seen as heavy handed with a penalty, a sending off and a one game ban.
In this video the decision is plainly a red card as the red player cynically denies Black a probable goal. The DFK restart on it own would be little censure for this.
Now have a look at this clip
Does the GK deserve to be dismissed. I believe he tries to play the ball yet fouls the attacker. Some referees may consider that there is no DOGSO here and find an out clause which may not sit very well with the opponents who expect a sending off yet under the *new* advice the pressure is somewhat off the referee to dismiss as he can see it as a careless foul and a caution. I always like to give discretion to referees and that it is not a Do X will result in Y approach. Referees will still be able to send off for a DOGSO yet the referee can factor in one more consideration into the 4Ds.
Hopefully it may put an end to the nonsense of the misnomer of *last man* . That has been the bane of many refereeing decisions

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Derek,
I will wait until I receive a certified copy of all the changes to peruse when I find some time before I comment fully but the only one that stands out as a bit funny is the offside indfk inside your own half. It means a scoring opportunity from a complete reversal of fortune. I like the kickoff in any direction and approve of the players leaving the FOP to be declared in bounds for a restart from where they left and ANY team mate or team personal who enters the FOP from the bench is held as a free kick not a drop ball or INDFK.

I am VERY interested in how the Dutch federation has been testing technology where officials watching on television, feed live information to referees. I choose to believe they will strike a balance within the flow of the game using smart technology to correct OBVIOUS errors on such things as offside, penalties or VC out of sight of the CR. What is interesting is how they might OVERRULE a referee decision on a PK or free kick or card if a review shows no contact? Then we are back to the ESSE dilemma in the WC 1998, when he saw what the cameras did not!

There is a battle between the ART of refereeing and the science of knowledge of the LOTG when you compare the beautiful game at all levels. I can make very different decisions at the kids rec or even competitive to what the top FIFA refs are forced to do or told to overlook for the sake of entertainment, political and monetary concerns! The traditional material ingrained within the game will still be a subject to recall when asking if this or that is really what is meant by any rewording or exclusion of old phrases. Just recently we had a historian buff remind us of an OLD Q&A that pertains to a throw in not being performed correctly if kneeling or sitting not mentioned currently but still applicable.

I personally prefer the idea we could send players off but not cause their teams undue hardship by NOT playing short. Or in the cases of DOGSO, if a goal results from the restart, just wave the card off. I know that a fair attempt versus a tackle to deny opportunity is not the same! The more we keep 22 players on the field the better the match provided it is not at the expense of safety by ignoring the idiots who choose the wrong way to play the beautiful game!


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