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Question Number: 32584

Mechanics 7/9/2018

RE: Youth to adult, rec and competitive

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

In the England-Sweden game, in the 66th minute, there was a Swedish pass down their left sideline. An English player steps in to shield the ball over the end line but the Swedish player blatantly pushes the defender from behind.

It looks like the push has caused the English player to touch the ball on its way out, so the Swedish attacker points to the corner and is displeased that he doesn't win the argument.

I know I would be tempted to caution for a tactical foul if I saw this in youth or adult ball, though I understand the World Cup refs are under orders to have a slow hand with the cards.

My surprise was that no foul was given but a goal kick was awarded. It was a clear foul, when the ball was still in bounds. A free kick from that location would have been a disadvantage to the aggrieved team, though.

Note in the video, the AR on the far side is standing there, waiting for the ref to take the lead, then he flags for the goal kick.

(Terrible) Video:

On a related vein: I see this from time to time, where a player has the ball close to the line and the ONLY reason it goes out of bounds is because the player was lightly fouled: bumped from behind or a little foot tap, causing the player with the ball to knock it out of bounds. It's such a minor foul that it probably wouldn't be called anywhere else on the field, so what do I do? In the past, I usually have explained my decision and awarded a free kick.

It's a hard sell, as it's such a minor foul. Giving the aggrieved team the throw-in or goal/corner kick would be a work around, though technically not correct.

I haven't had the situation come up in the PA, where it could mean a PK for a little heel-bump that caused the attacker to kick the ball out of bounds.

Common sense might tell a ref to say, 'YOU caused the player to knock it out of bounds, so THEY will get to put it back into play. Or would you rather they have a free kick or PK?'

The Laws don't seem to cover this type of play. Your thoughts? Thanks again, for sharing your wisdom.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Link appears not to be working at least not in my location?
A referee should not award a restart that is technically incorrect. So if a defender kicks the ball out over a boundary line the restart is to the opponents. If the reason that it happened is due to a foul then that free kick should be the restart. Sometimes due to looking at the foul the referee misses the contact on the ball.
I also believe that with video replay the referee must try to get the restart 100% correct for the viewing public. All the viewer might see is a defender touching the ball out over the line and his team gets the restart. That should not happen when the reason is a foul that caused it.
Now on the other side of this argument was I watched a similar foul with the *better* restart being a goal kick by playing advantage yet the referee awarded the foul. That can be a call based on the way it looks, the attitude of the player and the reaction.
I would also say that referee in general not just in the WC allow a great deal of leeway on shielding on the goal line. I have seen plenty of fouls go unpunished either way and some roughhouse challenges go unpunished in this WC. One in particular stood out for me in that after the most obvious foul in front of the AR he pointed for a goal kick. The two players then got up and gave each other a fist pump of acceptance which really *justified* the call.
Again the point of not mirroring the Pro game is evidently clear in such a call as I might expect in my games that both players might end up as misconduct even VC!

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Barry,
if you have read other responses to this question by me on this site I support the very situation you point out it is a FOUL has occurred prior to the ball going out of play as a push from behind far more often then a hold from in front.

Shielding the ball creates a coming together, shielding the ball while allowing the ball to move into touch generally requires a MOVING block to keep pace within the playing distance.

Lets not forget while the LOTG permit shielding the player doing so can not BACKUP or spread the arms back to grab and hold so as not to let the opponent get in around. It is almost an impeding move but the ball is within playing distance hence the slowdown or coverage is going to initiate some contact. The referee now will decided how much is too much & who is at fault to a greater degree as to what will be seen as fair or unfair.

This aggressive actions of the push or hold are NOT usually seen as violent or reckless more like irritational reactions to what each other is doing. I believe the pursuing opponent should pick a side and slide around at 180 forcing the player with possession to make a decision. To just push from behind begs for the foul. Where as a swing around if time allows for it creates problems as the shielder often has to PUSH back into the pursuer.

I think you should award the foul if it AFFECTS the play. If it is a throw or goal kick and it was not a harsh contact fine. But be wary, a snap in the back can hurt like hell as does an ankle tap cushion to force the ball out. The decision to award throws or goal kicks instead of a DFK likely has to do with the force of the collision & the reactions of the players themselves.

The Swedish player fouled the English player but the referee allowed it to be a goal kick perhaps because he was unaware the English player got an stubble touch on the ball due to the foul. For me an clear DFK out from that point .


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