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Question Number: 32040

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/20/2017

RE: Club High School

Keth A of Las Vegas, NV USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31172

To clarify the discussion on simultaneous fouls, if an attacker is recklessly tripped and retaliates against the defender with violent conduct before the referee can blow the whistle, then the defender receives a YC, the attacker a RC, and restart is a DFK to the attacking team? I can see the logic but can also see defending players and spectators feeling wronged. Now if the violent conduct happens after the whistle is blown then maintaining the original restart is a bit clearer.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Keith,
From your description, this not a case of simultaneous offences. A foul has occurred, followed by retaliation. The restart has to be based on the first offence. It doesn't matter when the whistle is blown, the foul is considered to have occurred when the referee decides that it happened, not when the whistle is heard.

A yellow card foul followed by retaliation leading to a red card is not exactly an unheard-of situation so I think most players and many spectators will not be too surprised at the outcome.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Simultaneous fouls are rare. An example would be say at a free kick a player kicks the ball, miskicks it and then to recover the situations fouls an opponent with a heavy challenge on the ball. If the ball was played first that is a technical offence yet the tackle is also an offence. In that situation the referee would punish the more serious offence, in terms of sanction, restart, physical severity and tactical impact, when more than one offence occurs at the same time which is the DFK foul.
In the retaliation situation it is not simultaneous. The restart is a DFK to the attacking team after the attacker is sent off. The whistle only signals the decision which has already been made so any delay in the whistle is not a factor.
have a look at this video
Green fouls Blue first with a raised boot and then Blue reacted. Blue is sent off for VC, Green gets a caution for USB and the restart is a free kick to Blue as the foul by Green happened first.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Keith
as my colleagues have stated, simultaneous fouls are exceedingly rare there generally is an instigator . Often in such cases where both are holding I just let it go or warn them to cut it out.

When a foul occurs and there is retaliation then the player is NOT allowing the referee opportunity to perform their job. I recall a terrible tackle in an old World Cup Argentina England match where Beckham was scythed brutally. The referee awarded ONLY a caution but Beckham while on the ground raised a leg that TOUCHED the Argentinian player on the back of the calf or thigh who of course made a huge deal out of it. The referee sees this as violent conduct by Beckham BECAUSE we are no longer in play and due the idiocy of FIFA policy once again forcing referees away from using their man management skills had said ALL retaliation after a whistle must be a red since it is a violent act and also dissents the referees call.
All that was required was a caution at the very worst, the sending off was a farce and made the referee look ridiculous given the severity of what just occurred.

When working as a single referee it is conceivable you turn around and both are wrestling on the ground so a drop ball restart might be your only true restart option . With ARs and 4ths and now VAR I seriously doubt at the elite level you will see any examples of a simultaneous foul by opposing players more likely a simultaneous foul by a single player where he does two silly things at the same time like perform a restart correctly but decides it was not so he picks the ball up. A DFK for deliberate handling would be the correct restart, rather than a second touch INDFK .

In cases where one puts the arm or elbow into the face and the response is to punch him in the back I get what you feel is unfair that the provocation created the reaction but I tell players just like the flag issue on offside DO NOT react to it. PLAY The whistle. Just do not desecrate a possible foul into a send off event by flopping like a fish. As referee I can handle the 'LOOK!',- like REF are you going to do something or will I have to do it myself?
I respect the fact you are giving me chance to render judgement but I abhor the divers! If you are fouled and you hear that whistle it MEANS the referee saw it and more importantly is in the process of dispensing justice. Now whether it will be what you want or not at least give the referee some time to sort it out be it the free kick a warning a caution or a send off to the instigator BUT by reacting you CREATE a new element of VC that forces the referee to consider how the LOTG now apply to him changing a hurtful but possibly fortuitous restart into something far more ugly for no reason except a lost temper!

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