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Question Number: 33913

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/6/2020

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

This question is a follow up to question 33911

Thanks for the answers.

Explanation for Mr. Grove:

In the Czech edition of the interpretation of the rules is approximately this: 'It is also prohibited if a player takes the ball with one leg, but hits the opponent with the other leg.'

I thought like this: 'The ball goes away and a fraction of a second after the other leg hits the attacker. When the other leg hits the attacker, the ball is no longer there (fair hit to the ball and unfair to the foot). Does it take into account that the ball goes away? Then OGSO turned into a promising attack. Or is it insignificant detail? Then it is obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Foul is certainly in both cases' :-)

Have a nice day.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Here is a compilation of tackles and saves
You will note that many of the tackles have some sort of contact afterwards and most would not be considered a foul.
As to the advice you have that may be some refereeing advice that is provided by your association. It is certainly not a translation of part of the IFAB law book.
I suspect that your association may be trying to describe the nasty so called *scissor tackle* where a players uses both legs in a challenge and may play the ball with one leg and contact the opponent with the other. That is most definitely a foul and it is without doubt a caution for a reckless challenge and most likely a red card for serious foul play if the contact uses excessive force. In general if a player is challenging an opponent with two feet the chances of a foul is extremely high. Think about it. If both feet are making contact close together then there is no control by the tackler. In a slide tackle is can be the case that there is incidental contact with the trail leg. Any slide with two feet is certainly careless if not reckless.
Also if there is a foul then the referee has to consider whether there should be further sanction. If it is a careless tackle which has no promising attack or DOGSO part then there is no card. If the offence prevents a promising attack it is a caution and if the offence denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity then it is a red card.
If it is a scissor tackle which endangers the safety of an opponent it is a red card for serious foul play in all circumstances.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
It's interesting to hear that there is a 'Czech interpretation of the rules.' I would just point out that according to the IFAB, there shouldn't be. As per the official line, no national association (or confederation for that matter) may issue interpretations of the laws, only the IFAB is allowed to do this. As the circular stipulating this says:

''We would like to reiterate that the International Football Association Board (or FIFA on its behalf) is the only body with the authority to issue [...] additional instructions concerning the Laws of the Game in order to ensure uniform application worldwide.''

Having said that, even with the interpretation that you quote (which I agree with, by the way) I think it is, as you suggest, a micro-analysis taking it to way too detailed of a level to say that within the same challenge you can have a situation where part of it makes a fair contact but part does not and so the first part legally removes the goal scoring opportunity before the second leg makes contact a split second later.

In my considered opinion, the entire challenge has to be taken together as one. As far as I'm concerned, a challenge can't be partly fair and partly not fair - the whole thing is either a foul or it's not. If the trailing leg makes foul contact, then the challenge in its entirety is a foul and for me, if the player had an obvious goal scoring opportunity before the challenge started and doesn't after it ends, a DOGSO offence has occurred.

I don't think the intent of that interpretation is to allow a player to get away with a lesser punishment just because the trailing leg is what ultimately causes the offence.

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