Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 31848

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/30/2017

Zluvka of Liberec, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31842

I have last question about DOGSO/SPA.

Can the referee take into account the possibility of the defender to intervene in a fair way, then? (if foul did not happen)

Specifically, these two situations:

1) If a last defender (or goalkeeper outside PA) does not play by a hand, the ball will hit his body. DOGSO or SPA?

2) Attacker runs with the ball and last defender fouls him from the front. The ball is at the foot of the attacker in the moment of foul. I think, it's not clear 'what next happens'. DOGSO or SPA?

I have received these questions from several amateur players. I cannot answer them:-)

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Zluvka
On your first question I assume that you mean that the ball hit a defenders arm and that it could hit the players body as well. If it is deliberate handling then the referee has to consider what would have happened without the handling. If there is deliberate handling the referee has considered that the action was deliberate. It may have been done to move the gall away from an opponent or prevent it getting to an opponent. Handling the ball in a goal scoring situation will always likely to draw a card whether yellow or if a scoring opportunity is denied then a red. There is no perspective answer as each situation will be entirely different.
On the second one the referee has to figure out from the movement of players what would happen if there is no foul and if it looks like the player has been denied an opportunity then it is red card. Generally a foul by a last defender with no team mates around will run a high risk of a red card particularly with all the other other DOGSO conditions present. If the defender has to foul then every likelihood that had the player moved the ball away that he could get away a shot or be involved in a one on one with the goalkeeper.
Now the underlying principle behind the law is to punish blatant obvious attempts to deny a goal or goal scoring opportunities. Referees try to give the benefit to defenders when there are question marks over what happens next. However player should always consider that in such circumstances that a foul may be considered as a denial by the referee on the day. The message is that players commit fouls at their peril in such circumstances. In other words think twice before doing so,

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 31848
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.