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Question Number: 31704

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/14/2017

RE: Local club player Under 17

Jordon Spiteri of Sydney, NSW Australia asks...

If 2 opponents fight in penalty area and the ball is outside the box. Is it a penalty?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jordon
I make the assumption that the two players are from the same team? Under the updated laws the restart is a penalty kick as the offence happened inside the penalty area. It makes no difference where the ball was when play was stopped.
The most infamous one of these was the Barton v Dyer fight at Newcastle. The offence happened where the two players where fighting which was the location of the restart not the location of the ball when play was stopped
Thankfully it does not happen very often and a penalty will certainly be a very unusual occurrence should it ever happen.
If they are two opposing players then the free kick goes against the player that committed the offence first and again the location of the offence is the location of the restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jordon,
If the two players are from the same team a penalty or DFK depending on which end of the field they are in & they will play 2 men down. Try to explain that to your coach., team mates & fans !
If it is an attacker & defender from opposite teams it will be a DFK or a PK depending on which end of the field they are in. Both team will be down a player. There is a small chance that it could be a drop ball for a simultaneous offence! Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Fighting between opponents usually involves some kind of striking, and striking is a DFK foul. If it happens in the penalty area, it's a penalty kick.

The trick is determining which player committed the foul - took the first swing. Sometimes we're paying attention to somewhere else on the field, and we see the reaction and not the cause for the reaction.

Still, if we know that the defense committed the foul, then it's a PK. If the attacker, then it's a direct free kick outbound.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jordon,
It's not entirely clear to me whether you mean two players from the same team or opposing teams. If the two players are from the same team and fight in the opponent's penalty area this would result in a direct free kick - if in their own penalty area, a penalty kick. If they are from opposing teams it would be either a direct free kick or a penalty, depending on who struck first.

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