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Question Number: 33334

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/11/2019

RE: rec Adult

joe of las vegas, nevada usa asks...

During a game, the defending team used hands to knock down a ball within the penalty area. The ball bounced straight to an offensive player that chipped it up and his teammate headed the ball in. However, the ref blew the play dead at the time of the foul and did not count the goal. It was my understanding that play could resume until the defending team regained control of the ball. Did the ref whistle it too soon or was he correct?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Joe
Clearly the referee blew a tad early when the fouled against team, who has been offended against, scores a goal which is chalked off. The referee can and should allow advantage in these situation or use *wait and see*. If a goal is scored then he can allow it. If not he can bring it back to the offence
However was there not a penalty kick award to in a way give the fouled against team an opportunity to score from the penalty mark?
Have a look at this video
I am not sure what your comments means in respect of the defending team facing control of the ball?
It is either an offence or not and advantage can be allowed if the offended against team benefits from play continuing. Otherwise it is a free kick / penalty kick and perhaps a red or yellow card. The offending team has no rights in these situations.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Joe ,
if the CR saw the hand & ball contact by the defending player as a true deliberate handling foul within the PA, if play is stopped, this is a PK restart and either a red card for the DOG / DOGSO send off they play a man down or a yellow card caution for USB is in store for the culprit responsible.

Now a referee watching sees this foul, but anticipates there is still a chance for that ball to wind up as a clear shot into an eventual goal, he should DELAY his whistle until the outcome of play is better than what that PK would achieve. A GOAL certainly fits that . If the defenders regained ball control then there would be no advantage so the CR would stop play and award the PK with the appropriate card in tow!

Judging from your description it is possible the referee blew too early as if the goal scorer was not offside, the goal could count and a kick off with likely a yellow card shown to the defender who was responsible for the deliberate handling foul. No direct red card as the goal was not denied.

I had a similar situation in which I delayed a whistle for a foul inside the PA , the ball pinged about to another attacker who had a decent shot but choose to slide it over to the subsequent goal scorer who was unfortunately in an offside position thus he could not legally score. I blew the whistle, disallowed the goal , awarded the PK and cautioned the defender for the challenge (this was not handling just a trip off a feasible challenge tackle) To say the PIOP was part of an advantage squandered does not sit well given a PK was already a done deal for them.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Joe,
Whenever an offence occurs, according to the wording in the laws, the referee has the option to allow play to continue if the referee judges that:

''the non-offending team will benefit from the advantage and penalises the offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time or within a few seconds.''

So if the referee sees a deliberate handling offence by a defender in their own penalty area and judges that the attacking team will (not might, but will) benefit if play continues, they do not have to blow for the offence straight away. Now, pretty much the only thing that will benefit a team more than having a penalty, is having a goal. So if there is not a very high likelihood of a goal being scored almost immediately, many if not most referees will call the penalty kick. It's difficult to be sure without actually seeing it, but I would have to say that a situation where the ball is merely rolling to an attacker, who does not look likely to score by themselves, but is going to have to make a successful chip on to a team mate's head (not an easy skill, let me assure you) before a goal might result, is probably not a clear enough opportunity for me, to give up on awarding the penalty and apply the advantage clause.

There is nothing in the law related to advantage, about the defending team regaining control of the ball, so that is definitely not a consideration. The only thing the referee should be doing here is trying to judge whether the non-offending team will see a clear and actual benefit (and as mentioned here, that has to be a goal) within the next few seconds.

If the handling has denied goal scoring opportunity or an actual goal - although there's no sign of that in your description, then there's even more onus on the referee to penalise the original offence (and send off the defender) although again, if the referee is convinced there is a sufficiently high likelihood of a goal resulting almost immediately, they could still allow play to continue. If the offence was an attempt to deny a goal and a goal is scored, the offending player should still be cautioned.

As ref McHugh also pointed out though, perhaps better than a classic application of the advantage clause is to adopt a 'wait and see' approach which would unfold as he outlines. Either way though, there has to be a clear and fairly immediate prospect of a goal being scored, for the penalty not to be awarded.

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