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Question Number: 31603

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/15/2017

RE: Rec/Rep

Andre of Toronto, Canada asks...

Question regarding DOGSO (denying obvious goal scoring op). I had a match last night where is was AR and a situation happened where, in my opinion, warranted a send off.

Player from RED team had a clear breakaway with no one around him. The keeper from BLUE team came out of the goal area and tackled RED player, missing the ball completely. All factors were in play (distance, direction, players, etc) to warrant DOGSO send off. Lead ref showed caution only.

At half time, i asked what the lead ref saw and the explanation given was that the new laws dictate that send off is no longer given for DOGSO. I questionned the decision and explained that it was my understanding that the change was as follows:

DOGSO cautionned when challenging for the ball within the defending goal area = caution + PK. Send off if it was deliberate hand ball, hold/push/pull or other offence that warrants a send off.

DOGSO is still send off if it occurs in ANY OTHER part of the pitch OTHER than the goal area.

I did not press the matter further as he was the lead ref and no point in arguing, was also senior to me.

Was i wrong?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andre
You do no mention what the restart was. You mention the goal area as opposed to the penalty area. I suspect you meant outside the penalty area?
Anyway if the restart was a penalty kick and the challenge was a genuine attempt to play the ball with the DOGSO conditions met then it is not a red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity. It is a caution under the amended Laws.
If the restart is a free kick outside the penalty area again with the DOGSO conditions fully met it is a red card.
Put simply. The same foul with the same conditions will in one instance be a red card if the foul is outside the penalty area with a free kick whereas inside the penalty area it will results in a penalty kick and a caution when a genuine attempt to play the ball is made. That is what the difference of a yard or so makes.
Holding, pushing, pulling, deliberate handling, cynical pull downs etc all result in red cards no matter where it happens or what the restart is once the DOGSO conditions are met.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Andre,

DOGSO has only changed for offences inside the PA - outside of the PA, there's no difference. I've come across a few referees who have missed this point - Law 12 actually states the new law quite clearly around this so perhaps showing your colleague the relevant law can help settle such an argument in the future!

Even inside the PA, DOGSO is only changed when there is a genuine challenge for the ball. And if the foul is deliberate handling, holding, pushing or pulling then the new laws don't apply.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Andre,
If the referee said, as you put it, ''that the new laws dictate that send off is no longer given for DOGSO'' then he is wrong. Assuming that when you refer to the 'goal area' you actually mean 'penalty area,' your summation of the new provisions is correct. The goal area is the area sometimes referred to as the 'six yard box,' as opposed to '18 yard box' for the penalty area.

The current wording related to this (much simplified in the 2017-18 edition) is:

''Where a player denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a deliberate handball offence the player is sent off wherever the offence occurs.

Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.''

So it is only if the DOGSO offence is inside the penalty area that a yellow card is a possibility - and it's still not necessarily the case. If a DOGSO offence occurs outside the penalty area the player must still be sent off.

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