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Question Number: 32293

Law 13 - Free Kicks 3/10/2018

RE: amateur Adult

JJ WALSH of DUBLIN 16 , ireland asks...

If a player requests 10 yards and takes free kick before whistle. What is decision and restart

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi JJ,
Most common option could be a caution show a yellow card and retake.

However, referees like options, it gives us the ability to navigate a match without always having to seek the harshest punishment but still keep a firm grip on the pulse of the game.

No referee likes to be played or made to look ineffective or foolish but then no referee needs to over use the authority granted under the LOTG just because a player acts like a putzs.

Players taking free kicks are universally upset at nearby opponents and may well say Hey ref 10 yards but UNTIL you as referee DIRECTLY take action there is still no requirement a whistle is yet required. UNLESS you have signaled to ALL that we WAIT for the whistle, eye contact, point at it, hold it aloft, a player complaining for ten and going quickly may not have yet transgressed my personal code of conduct. My code though may differ from others.

If we HAVE began the ceremonial route then I personally take a DIM view of an early restart given I WOULD have made it abundantly Clear NOTHING is going to occur until I signal play to commence. The early shooter will likely but not necessarily be shown a yellow card for USB or delaying the restart of play and the free kick could be retaken. If the kick is wasted I might just ignore and allow play to continue uninterrupted with a hard glare and a firm word in the ear of the miscreant.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Once a player has asked for 10 yards at a free kick and a referee has intervened it becomes what is called a 'ceremonial' free kick. As the referee is engaged in setting out the 10 yards etc the restart may not be taken and is on the signal of the referee which is a whistle.
The whistle is given when the all the conditions to take the kick are in place and the referee takes up his position.
Now that is the advice to referees in the Laws of the Game and not part of the actual Law.
Generally if a kick is taken without a signal and all the conditions are not in place the referee will go with a retake. If the referee is of the view that the action is deliberately unsporting the player may be cautioned. A misunderstanding or lack of communication may result in a retake only. A referee may also decide that an early shot that is blasted wide might be accepted with a goal kick restart.
You might recall the infamous free kick in the Sligo Rovers v Drogheda Utd FAI Cup Final of 2013
All the conditions were in place and an early peep of the whistle would have solved the ensuing mobbing of the referee from irate players which resulted in one sending off and a a caution. No whistle was given and the referee opined that it made no difference to the actual kick as everyone was in position and ready. The ball was in play when it is kicked at a free kick. Would a peep of the whistle made any difference in this case? Had the GK been out of position or a defender retreating after having been spoken to or the referee was in the way etc it would certainly be an unfair restart without a signal.
As I said earlier in Law 13 the requirement of a whistle is not mentioned and it is only part of the advice. So the decision in the game was not a misapplication of the law and therefore no possible protest. Just ill feeling and unpleasant scenes which the advice tries to avoid.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi JJ,
I would definitely agree with a retake. In many cases, there would often be a yellow card for the player as well. It would depend a lot on whether I thought the kicker had deliberately ignored my instruction to wait and was trying to 'get one over' on both me and the opponents or was somehow genuinely confused and/or misunderstood the instructions.

In televised games where I have seen this happen, my impression is that the kicker is as often as not, given a caution. Either way, I would always go with a retake - the player should not be allowed to get away with a quick free kick in these circumstances.

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