Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 32179

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/19/2018

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

This question is a follow up to question 32176

one more question to point 1) of the previous question please. Can you imagine situations when the referee punishes with free kick the foul of the player from the team which is in advantage?
Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,

IF blue #3 fouled red #5 but we actually USED the advantage clause to allow play or the scoring option to continue. Once we decide the advantage IS /was realized, the restart for that 1st foul is OVER. I STILL might have to deal with the misconduct aspect at the next stoppage .

IF red #3 decided to retaliate AFTER I decided advantage was /is realized this is a new phase of play and that could become a NEW reason to stop play. Advantage is usually decided fairly quickly within 1 to 5 seconds.

Until that advantage is realized any foul by the attacking team would be looked at as MISCONDUCT since we ALL READY have a reason to stop play!

A trifling or doubtful niggly foul where we do not consider it as a match worthy stoppage might aggravate a player to retaliate which we then would stop as it is a very CLEAR foul but then a referee may well look to that niggly one as the first realizing it was more serious than he 1st thought.

While I could imagine a caution or send off for misconduct during an advantage for a retaliatory response by the attacking team I would not change the restart UNLESS the advantage was realized and ONLY lost by the retaliatory action.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
The law says that the referee:

''allows play to continue when an offence occurs and the non-offending team will benefit from the advantage and penalises the offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time or within a few seconds''

So if the second foul occurs within the somewhat vague 'few seconds' specified in the law, the referee can still go back to the original offence. However if the advantage phase, as judged by the referee, has already finished then it becomes too late to go back and any foul that occurs subsequently should be punished for what it is.

As mentioned by my colleagues here and in the previous response, the referee could still take disciplinary action for the original foul before restarting but once it has gone beyond a certain point, according to both the law and customary practice, it is no longer considered acceptable to go back and award a free kick for the first offence.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
As was stated in general with two fouls in quick succession the referee will punish the first foul particularly when advantage is still being played and not fully realised.
The only situation that I could see is perhaps an unusual situation of playing advantage and a team mate of the first fouled player strikes an opponent without advantage being not quite fully realised. I believe a referee would be fully justified in ignoring the *advantage* foul to deal with the violent conduct and restart with that foul rather than bringing play back.
For example a forward is tripped at half way and he stumbles after the foul yet keeps going into space or passes the ball to a team mate also in space. Just then the fouling player gets up within a second of the foul he is immediately struck by another opponent. I could envisage a situation there where the referee could deem the advantage realised and squandered by the action of the player committing violent conduct. The game would also expect the restart to be a DFK against the violent conduct. The referee though will probably be challenged about the first foul causing the ruckus in the first place.
The recent law changes introduced the concept of the more serious offence being punished into the laws with the statement **punishes the more serious offence, in terms of sanction, restart, physical severity and tactical impact, when more than one offence occurs at the same time**. While the advantage situation is not the *same time* the principle now exists that the game does not want more serious offences to be rewarded with a restart. So the referee can deem the advantage realised and squandered to deal with the VC offence.
The principle of punishing the first foul is very much part of the laws and perhaps a referee may sense the situations not to play advantage that ends up with the baggage of a second immediate foul to be dealt with.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32179
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 32188

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.