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Question Number: 32285

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/6/2018

RE: Professional

ENGIN of olympia, WA usa asks...

as far as i know, stepping on an opponents foot is a yellow card. here the striped player touches the ball first but then steps on the opponents foot. foul or not? yellow or not?

another debate stems out of this discussion. having the ball touched first means anything?

such as

foul or not?

as always your comments are appreciated.
thank you

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Engin,
a step on the foot if deliberate could easily be red never mind yellow and sometimes just a matter of chance or unlucky. In this video it was definitely a foul, the yellow card for me subjective as it did not appear he went in studs first more of a slide roll due to the force applied the opposite way. I could be fine with a DFK and a warning if this was early in match.
Your second one was certainly a reasonable attempt to play the ball not the man, the resulting trip off the back of the foot given it was in a bent position not a sweeping motion has me thinking a plausible no call or a careless DFK but no card, unless if I thought the momentum was directed through the player was reckless but possibly from the slow motion given the ball was contacted first it does not appear to me as reckless. Usually the trailing leg scissors in a sweeping action cutting down the player here he is more falling over.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Engin
On the first video it is certainly a foul. In real time though the manner of contact could easily be missed. From what I see here it is a yellow card for a reckless challenge. I do agree with Referee Grove that it is not always a sanction.
The second one is a bit more difficult and angle of view will have a bearing on the call. It is an unusual one in that I can see a foul for being careless in the challenge which is a foul only and the fact that the foot is somewhat raised a referee might be tempted to issue a yellow card as it can look reckless . If I was pressed for a call I would say foul and a card as the player shows little regard for the opponent and commits from a distance and he going to play the ball at all costs which is not a good place to be for the opponent. I had one of these at the weekend and I went with a foul only despite strong appeals for a card. There was little contact on the opponent in my game and if Shoen on video the call could be questioned. Video also does not reflect the *feeling* at the foul and the sense of what happened.
The referee also can take many other factors into the decision such as mood of the game, intensity of play, history of challenges, persistent infringement, time in the game, has the player already been warned just to mention a few.
The referee is well placed here, seems to have a good view and is no doubt an experienced official at this level so I would have little concern for whatever decision was arrived at.
Decision on challenges can be subjective at times. An accidental step of a foot might be seen as that or missed. A referee might decide it was reckless which is a caution or that it was endangering the safety of an opponent which is a red card.
We have just completed a UEFA training module on challenges and most referees disagreed with some of the official UEFA opinion given on a number of the videos.
My advice to referees is to have safety of players foremost in their decision making and that means looking at the totality of the game not isolated incidents. In a one sided game played in a good spirit with the trod on the foot happening near the end could result in a free kick only or if it was minor might not even be seen. A hostile battle in a derby with players already spoken to, who has persistently fouled with tempers rising can result in a card.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Engin,
I'm not sure I quite agree with your opening statement. Stepping on an opponent's foot could lead to a wide range of decisions - no foul, foul, yellow card or red card, depending on the exact circumstances. Deliberately doing this in a relatively forceful manner (a stamp) for instance, would usually be a red card. At the other end of the scale it could be a kind of 'coming together' of feet in a way that might not even be a foul.

I have not looked at the videos you link to so I can't make a specific comment on those.

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