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Question Number: 32547

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/26/2018

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


first situation from today's WC match Denmark - France. The situation is about the collision of two players.

Video 1 (2nd half, video time 10:36, match time 55:05)

Is it really Kimpembe's foul? (On Czech TV the commentators did not agree with each other.)

Second situation is from match Belgium - Tunisia. (again front collision)

Video 2 (1st half, video time 16:09, match time 8:58)

I am thinking about this LOTG sentence: ×All players have a right to their position on the field of play, being in the way of an opponent is not the same as moving into the way of an opponent."

What does the referee take into account in these situations? When is it foul and when isn't? These ×frontal crashes" are not clear to me. It's hard for me to find arguments for fouls :-)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
I would not disagree with the referee in either case. However I would though be leaning towards a foul in the French one. There had been some blocking type fouls and physicality by French players on this attacker previously and this was a continuation. One foul had happened just two minutes earlier and the Danish player was suggesting something to the referee like constant fouling? With the benefit of action replay etc the French player changes his body angle to allow the contact which suggests a deliberate action to me. Perhaps the referee felt that the Danish player tried to engineer the foul? That could have swayed his call
So for me the defender obstructs the movement of the attacker towards the ball in what could be opined as a body check. Okay the defender is entitled to his space yet he makes no effort to avoid the attacker nor go after the ball and his sole intention is to stay in the way of the player who was moving towards the ball. While he is entitled to his ground there is also an onus to play as well.
In the Belgium one the player comes across into the path of the opponent to challenge for the ball which he fails to do yet that movement takes him into the path of the player with the ball making contact which is a foul. It is either holding or charging.
Generally when we look at this type of contacts that are not foul we look for accidental contact where player just run into each other. Players might not even know the opponent is there. In most of these foul situations players intentions are deliberate. In the French one the defender could and should have moved after the ball yet he chose to stand with a changed body angle, which in my opinion could be seen as intentional stopping contact on his opponent.
I have in the past given fouls against the player going after the ball as in some instances the player deliberately ran into the static player again making no effort to avoid.
I am around the game long enough to having played when obstruction was an IDFK. The first foul would have been obstruction by preventing an opponent from running on to the ball. That was removed and replaced with the no contact IDFK for impeding while contact is now seen as a holding foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr ,
red player was focused on ball flight, white player just stood his ground. . Play on! If the red player run was harder more forceful then a foul for charging is possible!
In the other yellow player definitely impeding with contact clear foul red deserved advantage!

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