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Question Number: 33864

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/2/2020

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


I have question about 'continuation' fouls near the penalty area. According to some opinions, there are two kinds of fouls: single events (trip, strike, kick) and possible continuous events (hold, charge).

How do you decide that the foul is over? In my view 'the main touch' tends to be longer and is often followed by 'smaller accidental touches' (mainly in the case of charging and pushing, but sometimes also in the case of single events). For me, only holding is clear :-)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
The law only refers to holding as a 'continuous' foul and I think that's correct. I suppose you could include pulling (which is not mentioned in law) within the definition of holding but for me, all the other kinds of foul you mention, including charging, are 'point of contact' fouls.

The law says the following:

''If a defender starts holding an attacker outside the penalty area and continues holding inside the penalty area, the referee must award a penalty kick.''

I would stick to this, and use point of contact for everything else.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
It is really a judgement call as to the location of the last or only part of the foul.
Generally on contact fouls there is one contact that creates the foul unlike say a holding foul or perhaps a pulling foul where the player pulls the player back for a short distance both of which are continuous.
A charge would generally be one main contact and the point of main contact would be the location I would call.
Anyway this is a rare event mainly limited to holding. All other fouls has a main point of contact or perhaps a series of contact with the most significant or last one that is called.
For example a player has a tug at a player who keeps going, then there is another tug or an arm push and then the final contact say a charge that bring the player to ground. All in all there could be three fouls in there all close to each other and the referee can punish the third one which could be inside the penalty area and obviously more advantageous.
In other situations a yard or two is not going to matter very much.

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