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Question Number: 32202

Law 5 - The Referee 1/29/2018

RE: competitive Under 18

Alex of fort collins, colorado USA asks...

This is a question on advantage. Team 1 has ball possession on Team 2's half of the field. A striker from team 1 takes a shot which is blocked by an intentional hand-ball from team 2's defense inside the box. (The goalie was no where close to blocking the ball) Before the whistle can be blown, the striker from team 1 puts the rebound back into the net. Is the goal awarded or does a PK take place? Is the player punished with the red card for the obstruction of a goal? I awarded the goal with no punishment (other than a verbal warning), but my AR and I talked about it after so now I am wondering. Thanks guys

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alex
Advantage can and should be played. There is no greater advantage than awarding a goal and there is no guarantee that the penalty kick will be scored.
So as described the best decision was to award the goal. The Laws now require that the player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour. He cannot be red carded for a DOGSO as nothing has been denied
Now there are some in the game that suggest that the penalty kick and a red card is a better decision. Not so. I recall a CL final between Arsenal and Barcelona where the refereee was too hasty with the award of a foul and a red card despite a goal being scored had he played advantage. It took Barca until the 80 min to equalize in the game. The referee subsequently spoke about his hastiness to call the foul which he regretted. It worked out okay yet the best decision was a goal and a caution.
So my advice is to always go with advantage and the goal award.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Alex,
ADVANTAGE by its VERY nature wants the goal ahead of anything else, if it resulted by way of a legal score. (No infractions by the team scoring)

The opposition misconduct that accompanied the effort to TRY and stop or deny the goal is ALWAYS under consideration for a caution as USB for a yellow card or as VC or SFP as a red card but NOT as DOGSO because the end result is in fact a goal so the attempts to deny have ultimately failed..

The fact there was violence or excessive action or an unsporting or reckless action is NOT waved just because a goal is scored!
In the situation you describe I like tat you awarded the goal by NOT blowing the whistle too quick but I likely caution show a yellow card to the player who used their hands illegally particularly if the deliberate handling was reach out or punch away not a hazy deflection. A caution will not get the defender sent off (unless his 2nd ) and the goal will count. A verbal, you are lucky they scored to not be sent off is not undermined by the reminder of the yellow for USB!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Alex,
If the ball is in the net before the whistle has sounded, you should definitely play the advantage. As my colleagues have said, a goal is the best advantage a team can have. It is also a reason why it is often a good idea to adopt a 'wait and see' approach for potential advantage calls in the penalty area. If the whistle has already sounded, you cannot allow the goal - delay a little and you may achieve a better outcome for the match overall.

If the original handball was on a shot that was destined for the net, it is mandatory to caution the offender.

Law 12 states: ''a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour [...] if a player:
handles the ball in an attempt to score a goal (whether or not the attempt is successful) or in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent a goal''

If the ball was not clearly on its way into the goal, a caution is not mandatory but it can still be a yellow card for USB if the referee so chooses. It cannot be a red card for DOGSO because the goal was not denied.

Like ref McHugh, I have heard the claim that it might be more advantageous to a team to be able to play the remainder of the game against ten men but I would say this is manifestly wrong. For me it's a classic example of the old cliche, 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.' A goal is a concrete, actual advantage that will be instrumental in giving a team a leg up in the game. Playing against ten men is a potential advantage that might very well amount to nothing in the end - teams playing with ten men can often do surprisingly well in a game.

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