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Question Number: 31680

Law 13 - Free Kicks 8/4/2017

RE: rec Adult

ronald dodds of Battle Mountain, nevada usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31672

considering the answers to 31672 is FIFA aware of the situations and are they doing anything about it. It would be nice to hear referee Webb's opinion.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ronald,
there are always opinions of everything and anything but you are not incorrect to wonder WHY do elite referees get it so fouled up creating poor thought process for the grassroots who emulate them? While I think it is simple premise perhaps as my colleague expressed the fact it does not occur a lot it is not ingrained as a habit.

Free kick restarts within the penalty area and within the goal area have conditions attached. There is no reason for a high level referee to not be aware unless they forget because it was a long while since the last time!

(a) DFKs in favour of attackers inside the opposing Penalty AREA are PKS !
(b) ANY outgoing free kick MUST completely exit the Penalty Area into the FOP to be in play and before any another player can touch it! NO opponent is permitted to be inside the PA until AFTER the ball completely clears the PA
(c) ANY outgoing free kick taken from INSIDE the goal area can be placed ANYWHERE in the goal area. No opponent is permitted to be inside the PA until AFTER the ball completely clears the PA
(d) ANY attacking INDFK taken from within the opposing Penalty area ALL defenders MUST still be 10 yards away in ALL directions unless they are standing along the goal line under the crossbar and between the posts
(e) ANY attacking INDFK taken from within the Goal area is an impossibility as ALL INDFKS restarts must occur ONLY on the 6 yard goal area boundary line that Parallels the actual goal line. The restart location is moved straight back from the point of the infringement to be on the boundary line a MINIMUM of 6 yards away from the goal line. NO INDFK can occur from either side where the 6 yard goal line runs perpendicular to the goal line unless it was at the far outside corner. ALL defenders must withdraw a minimum of 1o yards in ALL directions unless they are standing on the goal line under the crossbar between the posts. NO defender can MOVE closer to the restart location until the attacking kicker has kicked the ball into play

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ronald
One of the unique features of being a referee is that the referee is in sole charge of that particular game. Unless the referee has made an error in Law there is nothing that can be done for that particular game. The result stands. The infamous Thierry Henry handling comes to mind where instead of a feee kick for handling a goal was awarded. The referee could be marked down in assessment by the match observer for these errors and a series of low marks will result in a demotion.
Where there is a series of poor application of the Law by referees IFAB may issue a circular or bodies such as FIFA might issue advice to referees . As IDFKs inside the goal area is a pretty rare outlier event it is not something that is challenging the game to the point where something needs to be done at a systems level. It is simply about implementing Law13 as set out in the law book. In these high level games significant match incidents are discussed in the post match assessment with learning outcomes agreed.
Have a look at this video up until 24.30
It shows how key moments in high level games are evaluated and discussed with the referee crew with advice given by the match observer, referee trainers etc.
In our IDFK scenario such a process can happen particularly when as Referee Grove pointed out the referee got the location of the restart wrong in law rather than the mechanics of managing the 10 yards defensive wall
Also always remember that it easy in hindsight and from the luxury of a chair with video from multiple angles for us to make a decision, form an opinion etc whereas in a match situation with so much going on to get everything 100% correct particularly on outlier events such as the IDFK in the goal area. I have not had one of those IDFKs in the past five / seven years. I rarely even have IDFks in the penalty area!
One could even argue here based on the video evidence that there seemed to be slight contact with the players head which would have made it a penalty kick and not an IDFK! That might have been a topic of debate in the post match discussion with the referee perhaps explaining that the contact was not seen and so be it.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ronald,
I am not sure what you mean by ''is FIFA aware of the situations and are they doing anything about it.''

If you mean are they aware of the situations where an IFK offence occurs in a team's own goal area, then yes they are and the laws issued by the IFAB already contain clear instructions on how this should be handled so there is nothing FIFA (or the IFAB) needs to do.

If you mean are they aware of the individual incidents where referees have mis-handled the situation I would say that they probably are, but that individual refereeing errors are not within their purview. As ref McHugh points out, individual errors like this would be handled by the match observer, referee trainers etc within the national or local association where the match took place.

It would only be if this were a frequently recurring problem on a widespread international basis, that the IFAB (or FIFA) might consider addressing it but this is a relatively rare occurrence and not a major problem affecting the game in a way that currently needs any action from them, in my opinion.

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