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Question Number: 33774

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/14/2019

RE: Rec Adult

Darryl of Brisbane, queensland Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33768

**cough** **Gasp** *thump*

Ive just picked myself off the floor and checked this was not 1 April. Nope. I cannot believe you are giving this advice.

This is a hypothetical situation but even so this defender is a player who is supposed to be on the field of play, that is the underlining core of this question. If he were to step off as described, with the intention of the offside gambit, then certainly misconduct and a yellow. Stepping off the field over the goal line means that is the position of the second last defender from which offside is determined. This is stated in the LOTG to ensure it is applied, for the above example, but more likely for those instances when defenders run off in the process of normal play or have rolled themselves off during play to get quick treatment for an injury. So, no offside to be made.

However, as he is supposed to be on the field, so getting back on (entering) the field is what he is expected of him. The particular offence is intended for players, who have left the field temporary (implied with permission), such as a period in the sin bin (temporary dismissal), getting prolonged treatment for an injury or fixing equipment etc. They are off the field and are not supposed to be on at the time for a reason, so have to wait for permission before re-entering, to ensure they dont come on to tackle an opponent who is not expecting him. That is the intention of that offence. To simply quote the provisions for both (leaving and entering), misses the point of why that offence is there.

My opinion, once he gets back on the field if he has not blocked the shot by a HB or some other reckless tackle, then play on. At the next stoppage, issue the yellow for leaving the field w/o permission. To talk about double yellows or direct red for blocking the ball, is just escalating his stupid action (of stepping off the field to try for an offside call) out of all proportion.

The LOTG used to be written in brief terms, because they were to be read in conjunction with experience and common sense. Adding more words to each law to address specific instances make it more detailed but is not helping understand what it is supposed to achieve.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Darryl
Thanks for your observation which is welcome.
It is always good to challenge and test the answers.
Let's be clear about this. This was not presented as the typical step off the field to place an opponent in an offside position with nothing else happening which we all agree is a caution only at the next stoppage. In the question the player left the field deliberately to try to place an opponent in an offside position which did not work. He then frantically shouts at the AR to claim offside and then finds that when that does not work either he comes back on to stop a shot.
Normally leaving and entering would be a caution on it own with the player placed on the goal line for offside purposes.
As always I answer based on the hypothetical question and I believe that this scenario went beyond the single caution with the players engagement with the AR which to me said I am not on the field of play.
I concede that the answer should have been given a health warning about this particular scenario which had other elements to it which one was his engagement with the AR and secondly the offence was to deny the opponents an obvious goal scoring opportunity through an offence punished by a card and a free kick. All of those came together in this paper scenario.
Typically what would happen is that the offence would be dealt with at the next stoppage yet rarely does it have the other elements which for me moved it into another level.
Finally the answers highlighted some important referee brain exercises.
One is that a defender moving off to place an opponent in an offside position is a caution. Play is stopped if he interferes with play to issue the card. Secondly let us say that the defender was off with permission his re-entry is also a caution and a direct free kick offence. A player who enters the field of play without the required referees permission and interferes with play or an opponent and denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity is guilty of a sending-off offence.
Thirdly the player has committed a cautionable offence by leaving the field of play which as he subsequently interfered with play is punished by an indirect free kick and this circumstance could deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity. To say that it should be ignored until the next stoppage is incorrect. Play should be stopped to issue the card once there is interference with play which there was here.
Have a look at this video
As I said in my original answer most referees would go with a single caution on its own and a free kick. As a panel we have discussed this and the penalty kick option is harsh based on considering it re-entry and questionable on the basis of what would typically happen of it not being considered re-entry without permission yet leaving without permission.
FWIW I think the actions of the player was a deliberate attempt to stop a very promising attack through an offence. I think the players action deserve a strong sanction for his unsporting behaviour. Is a caution and an IDFK enough?
Put it another way. If the player was off the field of play with permission say with an injury and he ran on to interfere with play in the same way what would be the sanction? A card and a DFK / Penalty and if the action denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity it would be a red.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Darryl,
I think perhaps you are slightly mischaracterising the responses. I don't think any of us advised that the player *should* be given two yellow cards. Perhaps we were not clear enough that while it might be technically possible, it would be unusual and probably unfair, in terms of 'the spirit of the law' to give two yellows in this particular scenario of leaving and re-entering without permission and most referees would not do this. In the final analysis, it would really only be a case of a highly technical, theoretical possibility of two cautions - some might even refer to it as 'gotcha' refereeing.

I also have never given and probably never would give two yellow cards for a single instance of a player leaving and re-entering the field in quick succession, as it's disproportionate and just not warranted. There is one absolutely mandatory caution here though. The law says:

''If the player left the field of play deliberately, the player must be cautioned when the ball is next out of play.''

This is exactly the scenario described in the original question.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Darryl,
I am convinced you are correct! Shows we are not infallible but succumbed to this directional push for harsh punishment for interfering unfairly. Possibly we were preconditioned with anyone not allowed on the FOP interfering getting a PK or DFK and cautioned as a separate offence we forgot that as a player he is supposed to stay on the FOP and is only cautioned for his USB action of deceiving the referee or AR by trying to trick him into a offside call. Much like an attacker who deliberately leaves & comes back and participates in active play without the offside call is in fact cautioned for his deceit

A defending player who leaves the field of play without the referee's
permission shall be considered to be on the goal line or touchline for the
purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play or until the defending team
has played the ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area. If
the player left the field of play deliberately, the player must be cautioned when
the ball is next out of play

What is not stated is if the deliberate action was undertaken and if indeed HIS removal went unnoticed but then surprised the attackers by his sudden reemergence?

An attacking player may step or stay off the field of play not to be involved in
active play. If the player re-enters from the goal line and becomes involved in
play before the next stoppage in play or the defending team has played the
ball towards the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area, the player
shall be considered to be positioned on the goal line for the purposes of offside.
A player who deliberately leaves the field of play and re-enters without the
referee's permission and is not penalised for offside and gains an advantage
must be cautioned.
Good spot !

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