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Question Number: 32436

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/8/2018

RE: all

Dave of Fair Oaks, CA USA asks...

U16b high-level comp..attacking midfielder makes a wall pass then runs by his defender and receives the ball back. The defender has no chance to challenge for the ball so he intentionally kicks the attackers back leg across his other leg sending him flying. (not sure what this type of trip is called). Defender walks away laughing. Ref had a clear view and cautioned the defender. Game temperature was about what you would expect in a U16b state cup knockout game. As described what is your opinion? Is a caution consistent with the obvious intent and disregard for the opponents safety?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dave
There has been two such fouls in the Premier League this season and in both instances the players were sent off.
In the second one the Swansea player appealed the red card and the suspension was rescinded. Obviously the disciplinary panel felt it was not a red card offence.
So yes it can be a red card for serious foul play or violent conduct and other times it is a caution for unsporting behaviour.
For me it very much depends on the strengths of the trip kick rather than the intent. Player can intentionally foul an opponent on what looks like a *regular* foul such as a pull down, a trip as the player goes past with just intent of stopping the player and it rarely is seen as a red card offence.
In your example the referee may file away the obvious intent of the player and his attitude with little sympathy should the player commit a questionable cautionable offence later in the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Dave,
This is an offence for which arguments could be made for either a caution or a sending off. In the second incident ref McHugh refers to above, where a red card was issued and for which the suspension was subsequently overturned, there were some quite lively discussions on refereeing forums with opinions divided on the correct sanction. Some referees saw this as an off-the-ball incident amounting to violent conduct worthy of a red card, others saw it as more akin to a foul to stop a promising attack leading to a yellow.

I also think it depends on the amount of force used and certainly, if the referee thinks the action has endangered the safety of an opponent, a red card should result. If it is seen as a more innocuous sort of trip then a yellow card might be thought sufficient.

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