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Question Number: 32522

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 6/18/2018

RE: Select Under 15

Mr Richard Kap Kaplowitz of Frederick, MD United States asks...

On a referee forum someone posted that in the Portugal-Spain game 1 player for Portugal stayed on the field during the goal celebration so that Spain could not take a kickoff.

Where in the LOTG is a requirement that all of a team save one prevents a restart kickoff after a goal celebration? I know that no ref will card for the team leaving the field to celebrate a World Cup goal but having one player stay on the field to stop a kickoff - where does it say that??

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Richard
That would not happen as no FIFA World Cup referee is going to restart a game with the other team off the field of play. I have seen it happen unfairly on the web in one or two situations where the referees restarted Underage / Youth games with one team not ready for the kick off
The answer is in Law 8 where it states that
** For every kick-off: # all players, except the player taking the kick-off, must be in their own half of the field of play **
So I suspect what was being suggested was the situation where one player delays returning to his own half from the opponents half which then technically does not meet the requirements for a legal restart. The referee has to wait for all the players to be in their own half.
Delaying the restart can and is done with a tardy return by one player which can be punished by a caution for delaying the restart. Some players pretend to tie a lace or lie down with cramp in the opponents half which is an old ploy to allow time for team mates to take up their positions in their own half after a celebration.
So my advice is to encourage the scoring team to get back to their half quickly and to ensure that both teams are ready for the kick off. Under no circumstances should a game restart with only one team on the field of play. That is patently not part of the game as there has to be a contest.
The Laws allow for goal celebrations where it states ** Players can celebrate when a goal is scored, but the celebration must not be excessive; choreographed celebrations are not encouraged and must not cause excessive time-wasting. Leaving the field of play to celebrate a goal is not a cautionable offence but players should return as soon as possible.**
The referee can and should add on time for excessive time wasting in goal celebrations and to use cautions for delaying the restart or breaches of competition rules such as climbing up on fences, jumping over boundaries or not returning promptly when asked to do so etc

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Richard,
certainly no referee wishes to create conditions where controversy and frustration over something as wonderful or exciting as a goal. The player loves to celebrate this achievement as do his team and their supporters, it is a beautiful thing and at the this level often a defining career moment! So a referee who leaps too far or seeks to be heavy handed can easily leave HIS impression at the world stage and NOT in good way.

NO referee will look to create a scene & some simple encouragement lets get back to the game should be fine! It would be a death sentence to his career for a referee to try and restart the match without both teams on the FOP where they are supposed to be.

He can adjust time and could if it came to push versus shove actually caution a player who does decided to go beyond acceptable norms into the regions of USB.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Richard,
I am not 100% sure what you're referring to but if you mean that one of the Portugal players stayed in the opponent's half of the field, causing the kick-off to be delayed slightly, then ref McHugh has quoted the part of the law that means the kick-off cannot take place until all players are in their own half.

As I recall it, one of the Portugal players was dawdling a little and the referee had to 'hurry him up' as the Spanish players were waiting to take the kick off. If the referee thinks an excessive delay has occurred, additional time can be allowed for this at the end of the game. If a player were repeatedly doing this or wasting a truly excessive amount of time the player could be cautioned for delaying the restart but this did not appear to me, to be a case where the player really needed to be cautioned.

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