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Question Number: 32898

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/28/2018

RE: Adult

Jason lewis of Cardiff, Wales Wales asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32893

If a attacking player tackle a denfender and wins the ball but his other leg catches the player leg then it's a free kick to the that always the case

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jason
Not always the case. It all depends on the manner of the challenge. There is no reference to making contact with the ball in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game, but it may be considered by the referee in deciding whether contact was careless, reckless or excessively forceful.
Sometimes after the challenge there is a coming together which is not a foul while other times the challenge is careless/ reckless with the tackler having no regard for any contact after the ball is played.
In last Saturdays Premier League I distinctly remember a tackle where a defender played the ball with his left leg and his trailing right leg on the slide made contact with the opponent which ended up almost like a scissor tackle. I cannot remember the game yet the referee awarded a foul which in my opinion was the correct call.
In a lot of challenges, contact is made with an opponent after the ball is won. Whether it rises to the level of careless or worse usually depends on a number of things and can depend on how/when the ball was won.
Was the tackle inherently risky?
Was the contact reasonably unavoidable as part of the challenge?
Was the challenge made to win the ball only or did the player not care if he collected the oppponent on the follow through?
Have a look at this video
The tackler plays the gall yet is there any doubt it is a foul and a red card? This is at the higher end of the contact scale yet it makes the point.
Comments that the tackler won the ball are totally unhelpful and shows no understanding of the current Laws. Playing the ball is not a free pass at making careless or reckless contact with an opponent.
Have a look at this video
This is a difficult one for the referee in real time yet imo it is clearly a foul and also a caution. While the defender plays the ball his action is reckless with serious consequences for the attacker. Only because the pkayers goes up this could have been a leg breaker. Some see this as okay yet not in the modern game.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jason,
Whenever a player tackles an opponent, the referee has to make a judgement as to whether the challenge was fair or not. It makes no difference if it was an attacker tackling a defender or the other way round, the referee still has to apply the same criteria. If the referee decides that the tackle was careless, reckless or using excessive force (CRUEF), then it is an offence.

Getting the ball first is no guarantee of a fair challenge. It is perfectly possible to win the ball and still completely wipe out the opponent in an unfair manner immediately afterwards. On the other hand, it is also possible to take the ball and then make contact with the opponent in a way that does not even rise to the minimum level of carelessness.

What I would say, is that there is a fairly common form of challenge whereby a player gets the ball with the leading leg, but then follows through to catch the opponent with the trailing leg in a way that meets the CRUEF criteria and so is an offence. However it is not necessarily the case that every time a player contacts both the ball and the player, a foul has occurred.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jason ,
a slide tackle is the last ditch effort of a beaten defender to win the ball. If the trail leg sweeps in behind the opponent it generally is, in my opinion, a dfk tripping foul
The referee will look to see if the contact was fair, or if the ball has gone out of play from an effective knock away he may not see it as a trip preventing the opponent from chasing the ball down.

Essentially you are taking a risk as you turn your body into a uncontrolled physics missile of mass X speed = force.

An effective slide tackle is performed when the attacker expose too much of the ball. It can be from ANY direction provided it is without doing so in a careless , reckless or excessive manner. A slide tackle can even occur from behind safely poking the ball away beyond the legs with NO foul provided we are not upending him through unsafe contact .

Where you run into foul troubles, even if you contact the ball first, is in the manner of how safely it is performed . You go in hard, sweeping him off his feet or plowing through him, rather than having him fall over or into you the chances of injury are very great hence we elevate the force and manner looking at low level careless only a DFK, to USB harsh tactical reckless caution show a yellow card or unacceptable force dangerous career ending red card send off as excessive.

The key aside from the force & direction is to ENSURE the ball is actually contacted FIRST before there might be body contact where the opponent could fall over or into you if unable to jump out of the way. This type incidental contact is not always a foul because if it does not go past the careless stage it was in fact an effective tactic because the ball was exposed to be challenged. The near leg is extended and the other bent back at the knee so as not to sweep or scissor the opponent unnecessarily. You start arriving late, make body contact first you are looking to be cautioned or sent off.

Timing is absolutely crucial


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