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Question Number: 32163

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/13/2018

RE: Amateur Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

Two players challenge for a ball on the touch line near midfield. Both players end on the ground but challenge was clean from both sides. The defensive player gets up limping and heads back to his position but collapses 5 yards in. The attacking player is upset the defender did not 'remain injured' off the field. He walks up to player on ground, grabs his arm and starts dragging player off the field almost causing a brawl. What is the infraction?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
You do not mention where the ball was when the *incident* happened after the player went down injured.
If the ball was out of play it is a caution for the attacker for unsporting behaviour and as the ball was out of play the restart does not change. If the ball was in play it is a direct free kick against the attacker for pulling an opponent and a caution for USB.
Unfortunately in the modern game we have these 'injury' situations being *managed* by teams so that they do not play short for any period of time. Even in injury substitution situations we see players doing the same by going down injured on the FOP, seeking treatment and then taking their time exiting which allows the sub time to get ready to enter. While referees can allow play to continue until the next stoppage on an injury that is not serious we are obliged to deal with the situation at that next stoppage. So while we may have sympathy for the team that are being prevented from getting on with play we also cannot allow a player to manhandle an opponent by dragging him while down injured or not. The referee will deal with an injured player at the next stoppage if he allows play to continue. Referees should step in promptly in these situations, get the aggressive player to desist and explain that time will be added on. The injured player should be removed and the game restarted as quickly as possible.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI George,
hmm I do not know if impatience or belief the other guy is full of BS is an excuse to create further misconduct but all the referee can do in situations where players are in conflict is manage it based on what he knows and sees.
Strong presence, a solid whistle blast , firm tone and reasonable commands a referee with character does have some measure of input to dissuade player from continuing on the stupid roads or revenge paths. A CR should not argue but could be willing to relay some cool down theory or some no nonsense advice.
What part of this ! then hammer the whistle, Did you NOT understand? A point to the watch and a calm set of hands no worries TIME is stopped.

When player cannot restrain themselves from exacting their own sense of justice. Cards are a tool, should a player get cute try to delay or fuss about these tools can be brought forth. Players cannot expect to lay hands on opponents without ramifications even if at times it seems the referee does so with no cards. The eye contact, quiet nod or word in passing verbal warnings and public admonishment are alternate actions. It is vital to understand that player or referee, you reap what you sow!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi George,
For me, all that matters here is what the attacking player does to the opponent and, as ref McHugh says, whether the ball was in play or not at the time of the incident. What led up to it is immaterial. So it's either USB (and a caution, with restart unchanged) if the ball is out of play and a foul plus caution and a DFK to the defending player's team if the ball was still in play.

In your description you do not mention that the referee had stopped play and if he had not and the injury was not serious, play would be allowed to continue so there would be no reason I could think of, for the opponent to get so upset. If the referee did stop play for the injury, time would be allowed for this so once again, no point in the attacker getting upset.

In the end, whatever the reason, a player cannot be allowed to manhandle an opponent without there being repercussions.

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