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Question Number: 31247

Law 5 - The Referee 2/10/2017

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31243

Indeed the panel did have the restart correct and my comprehension was off track, and that is why I consider this site a valuable tool.

I totally 'get' the situations Ref Grove mentions, e.g. an offence off the other side of the field (so no direct involvement), however, my mistake was thinking that to 'leave the field of play to commit an offence' was separate/different from 'part of play' off the field.

I guess I had through of 'off the field, but part of play' as when e.g. two players just by circumstance end up off the field of play together as they attempt to play the ball together. Whereas, I had thought a player running off the field to get involved off the field (imagine a third player deliberately running off the field to get involved) was were the difference is.

I better now understand that 'part of play' is not restricted to the immediate players involved in the initial reason the players are off the field (while the ball is still in play).

Appreciate the clarity.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Always look at context. Ball in is play, players challenging for the ball close to the line and a player *fouls* an opponent as part of that play off the FOP. In the past the only possible restart was an IDFK for leaving to commit a foul. I witnessed two incidents during WCs where fouls had clearly happened off the field of play and direct free kicks were awarded which were technically incorrect. This law change allows referees to punish correctly offences that would normally be punished by a DFK or a penalty had it happened a yard or so closer on the FOP. In the scenario presented it would not sit well that a defender clearly trips an opponent off the field of play that prevents the opponent from attempting to score a goal with the restart being an IDFK. That would reward the offending team. The only point of debate would be around whether the defender does not attempt to play the ball or there is no possibility for the player making the challenge to play the ball then it is a dismissal for a DOGSO. If there is an attempt to play the ball then it is a caution. ITOOTR is key to that call.

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