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Question Number: 31815

Law 13 - Free Kicks 9/24/2017

Petr of , Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31802

I have one video (in time 10:22) to explain what I approximately mean.

Griezmann does not go away from the ball. (Maybe he is moving to the ball). He is less than 10 yards from the ball. Similar situations are seen several times for the match.

I saw in the match Leicester-Liverpool yesterday twice similar situation. Defender was less than 10 yards (about 3 or 4) from the ball in STATIONARY position. Once maybe 10 seconds after foul. He did not try to move away from the ball.

It looked like a normal thing for him. Risked he something? Or is it normal, when the player is stationary without interference?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The 10 yard rule is there to allow the kicking team to gain the full benefit of the restart which has the term FREE. Free is the key word in that it is free from interference or challenge by an opponent.
Now in your example the kicking team want to get on with play and are none too concerned about Griezman and his position close to the ball. Pros want to maintain possession of the ball and that can involves passes in any direction. In this example the kicking team would be annoyed if the kick had to be retaken.
If you look at the video the kicking team have no options close to Grizeman not in that channel of play so it is non issue. The kicking team chose to get on with play with opponents closer than 10 yards and that is its choice to do so.
Here are some videos that show the correct application¶ms=OAFIAVgB&v=58u-u04RUIE&mode=NORMAL¶ms=EAEYATgBSAFYBWILeVRLbGVxTFRNQjBoAw%253D%253D&v=lxKYNvp_jOY&mode=NORMAL

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
the fact is the ball was played backwards so the CR saw no reason to worry as he has zero effect on the attackers decision. Had the attacker made an effort to pass forward and the defender stayed or altered to prevent the pass then the kicker turned round to go backwards a CR MIGHT intervene having seen how the non compliance of distance affected the decision of the attacker.
The referee intervenes ONLY if he feels he must if the players tolerate or accept things the CR often will go along to get along!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
At the professional level, the players seem to prefer to get on with play as quickly as possible for most free kicks (with the possible exception of those within striking distance of goal) and so in these situations the referee is apparently choosing to go with the section of the law that says:

''If, when a free kick is taken, an opponent is closer to the ball than the required distance, the kick is retaken unless the advantage can be applied,'' by applying the advantage part of that provision.

Also, the very next part of the law implies (even if it does not say so in exactly those words) that if a player takes a free kick quickly and an opponent is less than 10 yds from the ball, the referee can allow play to continue.

If however, the referee judges the opponent within 10 yards is delaying the restart or preventing the kick from being taken, they still have the option to penalise the player so yes, the player is running a risk by remaining there. In the examples you give, the players involved were not penalised and evidently both the players and the referee were happy to let play continue.

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