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Question Number: 30631

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/24/2016

RE: Adult

Sergio of Fay, Ak Usa asks...

#8 Red was fouled by Purple 5. Red8 places the ball looking to play. 5 Purple stands 2 yards away in front of ball. Red8 kicks hard and directly to Purple 5. What is the call and restart.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Sergio
The easy part is the restart. The free kick is retaken by Red from the location of the original foul.
Now the decision the referee has to make is what action to taken against Purple #5. As Purple #5 has not respected the 10 yards he is cautioned for *failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in*
Now does it require a caution every single time? Plainly no as the referee has discretion based on the circumstances. Perhaps a stern word might suffice if it was the first time and very early in the game. Also sometimes players deliberately kick the ball at the opponent so as to get the player cautioned. The player may be retreating or there can be words exchanged after the foul. If it is just an aimless restart kick of the ball at the player then I rarely if ever caution for that. I speak with both players. However if it is clear that it is a pass to a team mate in a promising attacking position or that it is to use up time near the end of the game then I am cautioning the player.
Unfortunately it has become a problem in the game at lower levels and it will only be removed through stern action. Referees need to ensure that the fouled against team are afforded the opportunity to get on with play without interference. As already stated referees also have to be mindful of attempts to get players cautioned. If the referee informs both teams early in the game that he is not tolerating such incidents then he follows that up with cautions for the blatant, deliberate actions.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Sergio,
while at times free kicks guidelines are OBVIOUS, in the opinion of the referee we look at the circumstances and actions of the players involved. Whether they resume normal play or if either is trying to be crafty.

The opponent by trying to delay, the attacker by trying to draw a card and kicking the ball at the opponent BEFORE he can withdraw or force the referee to intervene by requesting the ten yards. It is true many players get away with being too close but the attackers manage a free kick to a team mate regardless and play resumes.

Yet if the ball is kicked into a nearby opponent and play permitted to continue some will feel aggrieved the opponent was not sanctioned for failure to respect the distance or delay the restart of play. In truth most of this is in the timing of the actions.

The opponent can not step into or towards the attacker diminishing the distance between them as the ball is put into play.

That said, if the opponent is retreating or moving off or simply getting back to their feet ,the responsibility to miss that player with the ball is on the attacker taking the kick . If the opponent is creating the delay or simply changing their actions so as to intervene or delay. Referees, under the LOTG can show a yellow card for such actions. It is suggested a referee not interfere but in youth I often use 'Ten yards Now!' to verbally warn those who seek to delay restarts as well as a pregame talk suggesting I am hard on those players failing to obey the requirements of the LOTG on free kicks.

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