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Question Number: 33440

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/12/2019

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33431

Thank you for your answers.

I saw in low level league similar situation last week. Ref went back to the place A. He explained, that the ball touch was before the foul. Therefore the advantage is over. The foul came after.

I understand if the foul is one second (or two) later, but here it was a tenth of a second. For me, the place of restart is rather B.

Was the referee wrong? Decided right? Or can he choose in such cases? And are we both right? :-)


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
It all depends. If the first offence happens at location A with advantage played and fully realised and then there is a second offence at location B then the restart is at B.
Generally if there are two fouls in close succession the second location is usually more advantageous. Certainly is if the second offence results in a penalty kick.
Where there are two offences close together some times it makes little difference as to the location particularly at mid field where a few yards is not going to make much difference.
From your description I would say that there really was no advantage available and it should have been called immediately. Playing advantage when there is potential for an immediate challenge is questionable.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
in the case of a PASSBACK where a ball is deliberately kicked by a defender to his own keeper, if an opponent gets the slightest of any form of legal touch of the ball prior to keeper picking the ball up there is NO INDFK for illegal use of hands. In other words the FACT the opposition got a touch/play of the ball, it reset that restriction.

This is NOT the case of advantage.

Advantage is NOT reset JUST because the opposition gets a touch of the ball, only if they control the ball and there is no advantage possible, we are STILL LOOKING to see how play develops within that window of opportunity. What sort of touch? If the touch was actually a fully cleared kick placing the ball back up-field, truly ending attacking or scoring opportunity chances are we stop play award that 1st foul.

When the first foul occurs and we are CONSIDERING advantage we await the outcome of play within a small window of time. If in that 2 to 3 seconds of consideration the opposition gets full possession then we likely stop play to award the foul as there is no advantage.

Think on this, attacker is tripped for the foul but ball rolls favorably for a possible second attacker to continue downfield, he struggles to get there ahead of defender who when tackling gets a slight touch of the ball pushing it towards the touchlines hoping to get it out of play. The 2nd attacker hops over the tackle and continues to pursue the ball stopping it from exiting the FOP and continues to attack the goal with a great cross. Based on your referee's logic the defender getting to the ball ahead of the 2nd attacker ends the advantage? Yet is it not in their best interest to let play continue? If the attacker had NOT been able to hop over the tackle, if say the defender had tripped the 2nd attacker or scissored his legs stopping pursuit would it not be best to award that 2nd foul rather than the first one? Yet if that tackle was a legal tackle, getting to the ball first, but the attacker falls over the defender instead of hoping over, then you go back to that first foul as there is no advantage to consider because there is no 2nd foul in a better position

Think on this an attacker shoots at goal just outside the PA , a defender sticks out the arm and deflects the ball back out to another attacker who shoots. The keeper saves the goal but spills the ball and another attacker buries it inside the goal. Now a referee would have to remain calm during this consideration of advantage , AWAITING the outcome before deciding to blow the whistle, because, IF a whistle DID sound, prior to the 3rd attacker scoring, the goal could NOT count. However, because the referee was allowing the exploration of advantage to fully play out the attackers' GOT the goal they deserved rather than say once the keeper saved touched the ball we should have a DFK and send off the 1st defender?

The key Petr is ITOOTR as to whether advantage is completed or ongoing. Based on your description I could side with your B as the correct restart location if I held my whistle to that point. It appears the referee in your match choose to decide play was already over BEFORE the 2nd foul but his whistle had not yet sounded.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
If I'm understanding your description of the incident correctly, in the two questions you have posed, it sounds as though the referee was trying to play the advantage but before the ball could even reach a team mate of the player that was originally fouled, a defender got to the ball first. For me, the referee has not decided that there was an advantage which is now over because too much time has elapsed or the attacker has squandered it, he's decided that the advantage never even really happened, so is going back to the original offence. As I see it that is a justifiable decision.

Even if the defender then fouls the second player immediately afterwards in what would have been a more advantageous position, if the referee had already decided to go back as soon as the defender touched the ball because there was no longer any prospect of an advantage (even if he didn't blow the whistle straight away) then that's a legitimate decision as far as I'm concerned.

I agree with ref McHugh that if the opponent was so close and in a position as to be able to challenge for the ball so quickly in this manner, then it probably wasn't worth trying to play the advantage in the first place.

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