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Question Number: 33512

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/9/2019

RE: Competitive Adult

Refjak of Malindi, Kenya Kenya asks...

After the whistle but before the ball is kicked while team White is taking a free kick in the attacking half, among the crowded White and Blue players awaiting the ball some 2 or 3m away from the 18yrd area is Blue10 positioned behind White7. White7 yells in anger and frustration with his hand spread in the air like asking the referee 'what is this?' The ball is kicked. The other players go for it but the referee stops play and awards DFK against team Blue as he approaches Blue10 and sends him off. Blue10 inserted a finger into the bottoms/buttocks of White7 and was clearly spotted.
I took this RC for the use of abusive or insulting gesture because there was no DOGSO, the ball had not been kicked yet. Am I right? And if yes, what do you do to a goalie who after successfully holding the ball he shows off a finger to the attacker whose attempt was unsuccessful?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Refjak
My first reading is that the red card offence happened before the free kick was taken so the restart should be the original free kick. The defining moment is when the OFFINABUS contact was made on White 7.
If it happened after the kick it moves the free kick forward some 10 yards to the location of the incident. The timing is highly relevant to the restart as it could result in a penalty kick if the offence happened inside the penalty area after the ball was in play.
As to the sanction on the White goalkeeper that too can be considered a red card. Referees are human beings, capable of using a balance of common sense, experience and interpretation as well as Law knowledge when officiating in games. The Referee is allowed to interpret each situation as he sees it and perhaps a referee might see a hand gesture as unsporting behaviour or as OFFINABUS.
I know plenty of referees that have a low tolerance level of any language or gestures while others may only react with a caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Refjak,
hmm some strange actions to say the least. Yes, a red card for VC to the blue player and and the restart remains the same for white assuming the players action was before the kick. If it was after then it is a NEW foul a the ball would be in play. !
A keeper displaying the middle finger, the universal up yours salute has no dignity or place on the FOP yet given temperament, character and situations a lack of class is not an automatic red. It certainly can be foul & abusive gesture red card, send off reduce the team by a player.

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