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Question Number: 31885

Law 5 - The Referee 10/9/2017

RE: Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

Blue player gets stepped on at the midfield line and goes down grabbing his ankle. Whistle is blown for a foul and a direct free kick is signaled. Blue players start walking over to fallen teammate. Just as everyone has put their guard down, a blue player grabs the ball and does a quick start to an open teammate who catches everyone on the field offguard and finds himself one on one with the goal keeper to beat. Should the ref blow the play dead so hurt player can be attended? Or is there an advantage to be allowed?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Advantage does not arise as Play has already stopped and the question is whether this is a ploy or a genuine injury which can be minor in nature. My advice is that if a team wants to get on with play with a player down injured then that is their choice PROVIDED the referee deems the injury not to be serious such as a head injury, bleeding, a possible break etc AND the free kick is taken in line with Law 13 from the correct location. Once they get on with it the team must accept that play will continue until the next natural stoppage should they lose the ball. The player may have already got up and is none the worse for his *injury*. Bringing play back in such situations will cause angst from the kicking team.
Once it is deemed to be a serious injury play should not be allowed to restart so as to allow treatment to the injured player. That is a judgement call to be made by the referee,

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI George,
the foul was awarded so no advantage is possible as the whistle goes to end play. Now the restart if it was done correctly, placed and kicked UNLESS you as referee determined the injury too serious or wanted to caution/card/talk to someone or had ALL ready indicated play would not restart without a whistle they just get on with it & accept play is now active with the downed player perhaps still rolling around .
Then you might consider if the injury was a ploy to distract and worthy of a caution for faking the injury as USB? Still I think safety is your best bet in all cases. Then again your decision your match your reputation.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi George,
The safety of the players should be paramount and so if the referee judges that the injured player needs immediate attention the taking of the kick should be delayed until the player is attended to. On the other hand, if the referee judges that it was not a serious injury, it is OK for play to continue.

You say that the defenders have put their guard down but this is not something that the referee needs to take into consideration (and something that as a coach, I would always advise my players never to do). For me, the team that has been offended against should almost always be allowed to restart play as quickly as possible and the opponents should always be ready for this eventuality.

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