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Question Number: 31777

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/11/2017

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

I have one video from match Marseille-Rennes (in time 2:00). It is about foul in the penalty box.

The referee punished this situation with a yellow card. Why?


Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Petr,
Interesting question. I presume you're asking why it wasn't a red card for Denying an Obvious Goalscoring Opportunity, rather than why was it a card at all.

DOGSO is a yellow card if it's a genuine attempt on the ball and inside the penalty area (law change this season). However, holding is excluded from that. So, if an OGSO is the situation, it must be a red. Was this foul for the use of the arms? I actually think that was minimal impact - I think the foul was for the trip as the defender kicked for the ball. I don't think there's any doubt that this was a genuine attempt on the ball.

It did deny a goalscoring opportunity (I'd argue it's an obvious one, but some may argue the other defenders could have blocked the shot), so a situation that would have resulted in a red card last year inside the penalty area is now a yellow card. That's why.

Good decision by the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity red card has been changed in that if the offence is now a genuine attempt to play the ball and it results in a penalty kick, the offence is now sanctioned with a caution rather than a dismissal. The soccer world was of the opinion that the triple punishment of a red card card, penalty kick and one game suspension was much too harsh as the penalty kick restored the goal scoring opportunity. Cynical fouls such as handling, pulling back, no attempt to play the ball will still result in a dismissal.
In this situation the referee opined that the defenders attempt to play the ball was a genuine challenge hence the yellow card. If the foul was for the pull with the ball not attempted to be played then it was a red card. I suspect the referee saw a trip on the attacker with the ball retrieved and that is what he punished. I think one of the consequences of the law change is that defenders will get the benefit on doubtful challenges as genuine attempt for the ball and only cynical clear non challenges will be punished with a red card

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
The relevant section of the laws states:

''Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball''

As this would appear to have been a DOGSO offence where the offender attempted to play the ball and the referee awarded a penalty kick then a caution (yellow card) is what the laws call for.

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