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: 32047

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/23/2017

RE: Adult

Muhammad Rizwan of Abbottabad, Abbottabad Pakistan asks...

General Question in my Mind.. ! Sir, if the ball is out of penalty area but in play and two players doing serious offence in the penalty area which was started by the defender what decision should referee made? a PK or DFK.. In offence / Foul the position of the ball does matter of the position of the offence.. ?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Muhammad,
The key here is the ball still in play? IF the ball is IN play then any action undertaken by the players is judged where it occurs, how and by who.
It is not SFP if the ball is not being challenged it could certainly be judged as a FOUL and will likely have VC attributed to it as an excessive action more than a careless or reckless action. The unsporting nature of such an event already put it past careless into reckless or cautionable and the violence involved push it into the excessive red card send off stage as an unnecessary unsafe action.

These are the impact situations when the location of the ball MIGHT have to do with a PK or DFK
The ball plays no part in a PK decision unless it is the object of deliberate handling inside the defenders own PA or was used some how as a thrown object like a strike.

I one had an irate keeper get peeved at an opponent and basically used the ball as a striking object in the form of a forceful basket ball pass right into the face of an opponent who had been bugging him verbally
I also had a keeper completely outside his penalty area deliberately handle the ball legally because a portion of the ball was wet, in the ball overhung the boundary line ever so slightly even though the portion of the ball he touched was outside the line into the field I know I was 6 feet away watching to see if he rolled it out or not!

These are the impact situation when the location of the ball MIGHT have to do with a PK or DFK . Otherwise all fouls can occur well away from the ball!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Muhammad,
As described, this is a penalty. It is the location of the offence that counts, not the location of the ball (as long as it is still in play).

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Muhammad
The position of the offence is the location of the restart not the position of the ball. The ball is irrelevant in such offences. As the defender committed violent conduct inside the penalty area FIRST the restart is a penalty kick.
Now in a situation where there is retaliation ending up in a fight between two players it can be difficult to determine which offence happened first and where. It is easy on paper in a question to say that a defender struck first inside the penalty area which is a penalty kick yet in a game situation match officials might only see both players fighting and perhaps miss the first blow/s and where it all exactly happened. Both players are sent off for violent conduct and if there is doubt about the first offence and restart the referee might have to go with a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped or go with what they did see which can be the retaliation. The restart for the retaliation can be *unfair* as that action gets punished more severely with the restart rather than the first offence which is unseen.
In the infamous Zidane head butt incident in the WC final the referee was unsure if the incident happened before or after a free kick restart at half way so he went with a dropped ball where the ball was when play was stopped. If the VC happened while the ball was in play and there was no subsequent restart then the DFK is taken from the location of the offence which can be a penalty kick.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32047
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.