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Question Number: 33242

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 4/14/2019

RE: Adult

S of Sydney, Nsw Australia asks...

I've noticed referees not giving yellows for penalties for small fouls in the area. Has the directives changed? Does the penalty suffice for fouls not quite heading towards goal or stopping a promising attack. I'm in favour for this inside the area as a penalty is a big punishment. Unless dogso

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

There was actually a change in terms of the law in this regard, starting in 2017. As of that time, Law 12 states that a player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour if that player:

''commits a foul which interferes with or stops a promising attack except where the referee awards a penalty kick for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball'

The explanation given for this was that:

''Removal of a caution (YC) for stopping a promising attack when a penalty kick is awarded for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball is consistent with a caution (YC), not a sending-off (RC) if the referee awards a penalty kick for a DOGSO offence which is an attempt to play the ball.''

I should mention that even before this change, it was not actually required to issue a yellow card simply because a penalty was awarded, only when the offence that led to the penalty fell into one the categories of cautionable offences, typically either a reckless challenge or stopping a promising attack.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The Laws have changed here. A caution is not issued where a penalty has been awarded for a regular foul and it is a genuine attempt to play the ball.
It is still a caution if the challenge is reckless or it was not a genuine attempt to play the ball such as a pull, push etc,

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The LOTG actually changed to do as you indicated. It was to done because although it was realized that a PK is a great equalizer of a lost opportunity for a foul stopping the attack. It was also realized that defenders do try to thwart the attack as part of their job to sincerely challenge, thus the showing of cards and or actions resulting in expulsion, given the PK WAS great opportunity, seemed unduly harsh. Hence the punishment was relaxed for a true legitimate attempt to challenge falling a wee bit short, thus a foul,versus a malicious deliberate act where no reasonable ball challenge was being considered. These more serious types of fouls & misconduct are STILL punished with cards & or send offs.

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