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Question Number: 33340

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 5/13/2019

RE: Recreation Under 14

Tim Peters of San Antonio, TX USA asks...

I had a defender in the penalty box make a high kick while trying to clear the ball with another player challenging. The referee blew the whistle and pointed to the penalty spot, I said why is it a PK, dangerous play should be a indirect kick.
The center referee replied that he is calling it a direct kick because my player made contact with his foot.
I understood this as a kicking offense and had no problem with the PK.
The player who was kicked in the face takes the PK, misses it, then the other coach calls him over to talk to him. Coach notices blood apparently, and calls the referee over.
Referee then gives my player a yellow card, because he caused blood.
I feel like this is double jeopardy. We were punished once for the foul. He allowed play to continue with the PK, then decided for whatever reason to punish us with a yellow as well.
Does this seem proper to you?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Tim,
NOT a fan of the late card mechanics because if indeed it was due to the blood from being kicked in the face that card should have been issued at the time of the foul. Once the referee allows the PK he has no legal basis in law to go back and show the card because he has permitted play to restart on a foul, HE saw and in theory dealt with. No way to judge the incident now of course but if there was cardable misconduct even if USB for a reckless leg swing it should have been dealt with at the time, it maybe your high kick player should have even been shown a red card & sent off but that is something that requires decision right then because the referee was AWARE of it, not later. A referee can change his mind BEFORE he restarts NOT after! A referee can act on something he did not actually see a bit later if an AR /neutral official was there to get his attention and points it out but in this case. the referee has erred and could use a refresher course on card mechanics. As for the player bloodied by the kick, I hope he was ok but he would have to be treated and have the blood flow stopped before continuing to play. Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Tim,
While the referee was correct on the first call (any foul involving contact must be a direct free kick) he was not right on the yellow card mechanics. The law states that, ''The referee may not change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted ...''

On the actual merits of the case, the yellow may have been justified (in fact a high kick to the head that draws blood could even be a red card) but the law does not allow it to be issued in the way it was done here.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tim
There are a few calls here.
First off a high boot that makes contact with a player changes from a technical foul of Playing in a Dangerous Manner involving no contact to a penal foul of kicking an opponent punished by a direct free kick or penalty kick when contact is made.
So the first decision was correct.
The older Law books advised that with contact on a PIADM that the **referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also been committed**. In other words every chance a yellow and it could be a red card if excessive force was used. That is no longer in the LotG although the principle is still present
Now the second situation was the issue of the caution. The caution per se was correct yet it should have been issued before the restart of play in this case the penalty kick. Referee Grove has outlined the relevant section of the Law.
So the caution was in my opinion correct and what was wrong was the mechanism of issuing it. I am around long enough to know that the coach *pressured* the referee here by outlining his failure to caution for this offence particularly when the player was shown to be bleeding.
As to allowing this to happen that is not a good place for a referee to be in. It undermines the referee authority in the game. Also refereeing based on *evidence* is also ill advised although I recall a Premier League referee about to caution a player for a challenge with the card in his hand and changing his mind based on seeing the wound on the players leg. The referee was technically okay although it did not look great.
For what it is worth the correct decision here was a penalty kick and a caution with the game restarting with the PK. If the player was bleeding he should have been asked to leave the FOP to deal with the blood injury.
I believe the referee got there albeit in all the wrong order.

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