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Question Number: 32119

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/19/2017

RE: Competive Adult

s_liva of Guildford, UK asks...

When a striker kicks the ball and his leg after the ball kick by mistake or accidentally touches or hits the defender then is a foul against the striker/offender called?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

It depends whether the referee considers that the actions of the player meet the careless, reckless or using excessive force (CRUEF) criteria for a foul. According to the Laws, if the referee thinks the player was at fault, a foul should be awarded. So a fair amount of interpretation and judgement is involved. If the referee thinks the attacker could reasonably have been expected to have known the defender was going to get his leg in the way, or if the defender's leg was already there before the striker started to swing and the attacker went ahead regardless, in a way that the referee judges has shown a lack of attention or consideration - or that the player acted without precaution, it would be a free kick with no further disciplinary sanction required.

If the referee opines that the player acted with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent it would be a foul and a caution. Finally, if the player exceeds the necessary use of force and/or endangers the safety of an opponent it would be a foul and a sending-off.

On the other hand, the referee could decide that the forward's actions did not even meet the minimum threshold of being careless, in which case no offence would have been committed.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

It is not a blanket foul to get a ball then contact the opponent. Soccer is a physical game there is allowable legal contact and a coming together of opposing players in legitimate challenges. What is NOT permitted are excessive or reckless acts of aggression with no thought to the possible consequences of getting too the ball where the the safety of the opponent is compromised in the opinion of the referee in charge.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Many times referee hear the phrase *But I got the ball ref*.
Playing the ball is not a free pass at being careless or reckless in challenging for the ball.
Yes many times there will be what is described as coming together of the players after the ball is played away which is not a foul yet that is a long way from a player who knowingly and recklessly follows through into an opponent in the challenge.
In recent times there has been an increase of the challenge that plays the ball yet the player aggressively continues onwards into the opponent. That is a foul, a caution for being reckless and if it excessive force is used the player is sent off.

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