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Question Number: 31277

Law 13 - Free Kicks 2/20/2017

RE: Select Adult

Greg Kall of Hillsborough, CA USA asks...

Under law 13, Free Kicks, section 3 states that 'an opponent who deliberately prevents a free kick being taken quickly must be cautioned for delaying restart of play'

This is confusing in that there is a provision for a caution to be served specifically for not giving the proper distance. Why in Law 13 does it refer to delay as opposed to distance as the reason for the caution?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Greg
The reason is that they are two separate types of offences. The QFK one is delaying the restart of play whereas the other one is failing to respect the required distance.
On the quick free kick what does happen is that a player close to the ball prevents the kick from taking place by sticking out s leg, running in front of the ball etc.
On the failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in the player has not prevented the restart yet he has interfered by rushing forward from 10 yards at a free kick.
There are also times when at a QFK an opponent who is not 10 yards away has intercepted the ball. That is not an offence so it is important to distinguish between preventing and not respecting the distance.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Greg,
respecting the ten yards is generally a condition that the opposition must adhere to, not the attacking team, (except on the PKs) whereas delaying the restart could be either teams' responsibility.
The failure to respect the ten yards could be when a defender breaks off the wall early as the kicker is running up to the ball and has closed the distance from 10 to say 6 and the ball hits him as a direct result and goes astray.
The fact that a quick kick can occur with an opponent CLOSER than ten yards as an option by the attacking team means it is unfair to punish failure to respect as not sufficient time is given for that to occur. However, the opponent is NOT permitted to interfere or create trouble on a quick kick and is held accountable if he makes the effort to do so! Whereas if he simply reacts, after the ball is played, or the ball is struck at him by the attacker, then there is no infraction and its play on!

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