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Question Number: 32052

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/25/2017

RE: Semi pro Adult

Charlie Silver-Burr of Worthing, United Kingdom asks...

We had a free kick given in the dying seconds today seemingly given for timewasting. Is this ok?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Charlie
No that is not tenable. To waste time the ball has to be out of play and a foul can only be committed while the ball is IN play. Time wasting is dealt with as a caution for delaying the start of play yet it does not change the restart. It is still a throw in, goal kick or whatever the restart was. Additional time is added on for the time wasting and the caution.
Now I can envisage a situation where a player brings the ball to a corner to run the clock down and uses his arm to push away opponents or commits some other foul in the corner such as illegal shielding. A foul would be awarded for that type of offence which while not apparent is not a time wasting foul yet an ordinary foul of pushing, holding etc.
The other possibility is where a goalkeeper with the ball in his hands takes an inordinate amount of time to put the ball back in play. That can be punished by an IDFK for that particular offence which can be seen as time wasting by some. The offence is listed as * controls the ball with the hands for more than six seconds before releasing it*

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Charlie,
Time-wasting is not listed as an offence under the Laws of the Game. It is mentioned but only as one of the ways time may be lost and for which the referee may make allowance. Delaying the restart, which is often referred to by commentators, spectators and players alike as time-wasting can bring a caution but can only occur when the ball is already out of play so could not change the restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Timewasting? That doesn't make sense...
'Timewasting' is covered under the laws as 'delaying the restart of play'. By definition that can only occur while the ball is out of play, and if so that player is punished by a yellow card - but the restart doesn't change.
The only thing I can think of that makes sense would be if the keeper was holding the ball in his hands for more than 6 seconds - in which case that's an IFK to the opposing team.

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