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Question Number: 31870

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/6/2017

RE: Competitive Under 18

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

In a recent match, an attacker was running with the ball near the top of the 18 and was into his kicking motion when a defender put his foot in the path of the kicking foot.

I viewed it as a an honest attempt by the defender to get to the ball but it failed and the kicker's foot was stopped. The attacker didn't fall but he didn't get his kick away. I blew it down as a foul.

When I approached the scene of the foul, I saw that it was JUST inside the PA so pointed to the penalty spot.

On the kick, the keeper made a brilliant save, maintaining the 1-1 tie.

My question: was a caution required on this play, or was it just an option? It wasn't a reckless play, just careless. It also wasn't a clear DOGSO, as there were several defenders between the ball and the goal. There were, however, several open paths to the goal, where a shot could have gone. I gave no card on the play and none were asked for by the attacking team.

Further: had it been just outside the box, would a red (or yellow) card have been required? I'm thinking red would be harsh.

Thanks again for the great work the panelists do in improving the quality of officiating in the 'world's game.'

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Once you deem the foul to be careless with a penalty awarded there is no requirement for a caution.
The same would apply outside the penalty area as my view is that it is careless foul with no DOGSO then that is all that it is. The Laws tells us * A player ‘stopping a promising attack’ in the penalty area is not cautioned (YC) if the offence was an attempt to play the ball*
Now if the referee deems that the foul is tactical outside the penalty area yet not a DOGSO then it can be a caution for unsporting behaviour. Clearly if the DOGSO conditions are met outside the penalty area area then a red card is required. Inside the area on a DOGSO with a genuine attempt to play the ball it is a caution.
Many tines on a shot there can be multiple players between the ball player and the goal so a potential shot may be speculative and not an obvious goal scoring opportunity. If however the attacker is about to shoot and the foul denies that attempt at a shot then outside the area with all the DOGSO conditions met then it is a red card. Move it on into the area and it must be a caution. If no DOGSO and simply a careless tackle on a penalty award there is no need for a card.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Barry,
As described this sounds like a careless tackle which while a foul (and in this case, a penalty) does not require a caution. If it had been just outside the penalty area then it would only be a red card if it were a DOGSO offence - but you say it wasn't, so no red card would be required, based on your description. There could be a case for a caution if you saw the tackle as stopping a promising attack (SPA) but again, only if it were outside the area - inside the area, for a genuine attempt to play the ball, no caution is required for SPA. It seemed in the past that some referees considered that any foul inside the penalty area amounted to SPA, merely because of the location but I never subscribed to that view and under the current laws it is definitely not the case.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Barry,
although the LOTG do mention that cautions are a must on a few occasions generally I like to get something for going that route be it simple respect and setting a bar or tone or not rewarding idiotic behaviour by being too lenient.
The value of having your finger on the pulse of the game to understand the significance the card could have or is not required as an over statement is really the depths of experience which drags this out of the very best of the center circle official.

Base on your observations and description I see nothing wrong with assuming the defender fouled the attacker given the ball was not first contacted.

I had a very similar occurrence in which the defender snuck the foot in to knock the ball away the attacker continued his kick into the left ankle of the defender and fell, over screaming for a foul . Not only did I NOT award the foul I cautioned the attacker for his continued dissent & insistence it was a foul and awarded the foul to the defender or being kicked since he did get to the ball ahead of the attacker. If the defender had missed the ball and blocked the kick THEN I am with you it is a trip or kick attempt at least given the attacker had every right to play the ball.

In your case the free kick /pk was awarded with no need to caution, if there was DOGSO then inside the PA gives a PK shot so no need to worry there the opportunity is alive, I suppose one might consider a caution for the USB but if it was a legit challenge for the ball I see no caution honestly I see it as a careless foul at best. no one appeared horribly upset, so good job!

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