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Question Number: 32499

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/9/2018

RE: Under 19

Salvador Flores of Indianapolis, IN United States asks...

If an attacker dribbles right past a defender, and fouls the attacker just outside the penalty box in the left side and there is another defender on the other side of the corner flag where the AR is at. So it's two defenders in their third defending half. The third defender who is by the AR isn't close to the play, could this be considered a DOGSO situation, even though there was another defender, but was far away from the play?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Salvador
There is a misnomer about the use of the words *last man* in denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity and it is unhelpful in the application of Law 12. Many players in the game are of the opinion that if the defender who fouls an opponent is the last man it is a DOGSO or conversely that the presence of a second defender negates the potential for a DOGSO.
Both are incorrect. The referee has to evaluate what impact the foul has on subsequent play and if the foul was not committed would the attacker have had an obvious opportunity to score a goal.
In your example the second defender will have no opportunity to affect subsequent play so if the attacker was not fouled the second defender would not be able to make a challenge or block any goal scoring opportunity so there is every likelihood that the foul denied a goal scoring opportunity .
Similarly the defender could be the last player on his team who makes a foul yet the opportunity may not be present due to the distance from goal, the location of the foul, the direction of play, the possibility that another defender can get to the ball before the opportunity is taken etc.
In a recent game that I was involved in a defender fouled an attacker some 30+ yards from goal. He was the last defender however I opined that at the level of the game the attacker was not denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity as there were other defenders getting back who would have challenged before the attacker had an opportunity to score. Move the foul on sone 10/12 + yards and it would have been Perhaps in the Pro ranks it might have been called although I have seen them not given as well.
So when considering a DOGSO red card situation a referee is required to assess what is call the 4 Ds
# DISTANCE between the offence and the goal
# General DIRECTION of the play
# DISTANCE to the ball. Likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
# Location and number of DEFENDERS.
When any one of the 4Ds is not present it is unlikely to be a denial.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Salvador,
YES it could,
DOGSO is a criteria based event BASED on the opinion of the CR if ALL the facets are met . The Location of other defenders is of course important as is the direction to goal and whether subsequent play CAN be expected to follow a CERTAIN possible outcome. It is not the number so much as their location & their ability to effect subsequent play as well as the ball location and the attackers ability to utilize the position to have the opportunity .

Say the attacker BEATS a 2nd last opponent or even the last opponent the DOGSO will be dependant on whether the scoring chance is lost due to the foul! Where as if the ball was booted into the corner arc by a heavy touch, THEN he was pulled, down allowing time for the defenders to get back prior to the attacker being able to get back to shooting at the goal due to the ball having to be retrieved in the corner. The CR will still be looking at the amount of time given a non tripped player can retrieve the ball quicker than one on his back after a foul. The direction of towards goal does not ALWAYS signify exact middle, just is the opportunity thwarted by the foul or caused by a mistake in skill or tactics. Inside the PA we now permit a normal careless foul that denies a goal as a reasonable challenge to be deemed only a cautionable event as the PK is the opportunity to score. This does NOT apply to such fouls as deliberate handling or to shirt pulls or to pushes that make no effort to win the ball fairly.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Salvador,
When the DOGSO provisions in the law refer to the location of the defenders it's to do with whether they were in a position to get between the attacker who was fouled and the goal, before the attacker would have been able to get into an obvious goal-scoring position. Just being in the defensive third of the field is not enough. Even being closer to the goal line than the attacker is not enough - the defender has to be in a location to get in the way of the attacker in fairly short order.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'on the other side of the corner flag' - that makes it sound as if the defender is off the pitch but assuming you mean somewhere near the corner flag on the opposite side of the field from the attacker then for me that defender would not be considered relevant for the purposes of DOGSO. They would almost certainly be too far away to have any influence on the play.

So if all the other criteria for DOGSO were met, the presence of a defender that far away would be unlikely to factor into the referee's decision-making process.

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