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Question Number: 32288

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/7/2018

RE: Select Under 13

Alex Camacho of Temple City, CA USA asks...

In a soccer match I was the CR. A green attacking player is dribbling onto goal in the penalty area. There are other red defenders racing to try and cut off the attacker. The red defender who was beat, is now behind the green attacker attempts to slide tackle the ball but gets a portion of the ball and the green attacking player. I issue a penalty kick on the foul. Due to the other players in the vicinity of the play and the fair nature of the attempted tackle, I do not issue a yellow card to the red defender.

Is this the correct interpretation of the rules? I was questioned why I did not issue a yellow card to the red defender.

Rule 12 states...

commits a foul which interferes with or stops a promising attack except where the referee awards a penalty kick for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball

however it also states...

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.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alex
In the case where there is a foul with all the DOGSO conditions met and a penalty kick is awarded the player instead of being red carded must be cautioned where there is a genuine attempt to play the ball. If it not a genuine challenge such as holding, pushing, cynical foul with the ball not present then it is still a red card.
If a penalty is awarded and there is no DOGSO present then the foul is evaluated on its own merits such as a reckless challenge or serious foul play and an appropriate card issued.
In your example there was a genuine attempt to play the ball, there was no DOGSO present and it does not read like it was reckless then there is no requirement for a card as a penalty kick was awarded
Old legacy issues die slowly and many in the game will recall when most penalty awards resulted in either a caution or a dismissal. The new wording which you quoted from Law 12 changed all that. Again the view was that the PK restored the teactical advantage and promising attack so the caution for that particular action is not required.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Alex ,
as a referee your opinion on each decision is based on what you see and how you apply the laws based on what you know.
You saw a careless challenge, which did NOT deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity , you determined it was at best a DFK tripping foul foul inside the PA thus is now an automatic PK given the location. There is NO mandatory caution or need to show a yellow card if there was no recklessness or DOGSO in the challenge.

The idea of DOGSO challenges within the PA can now be downgraded to a yellow card instead of an auto red card send off is the PK is in fact a great scoring opportunity in of its self. ONLY if the challenge is in of itself excessive SFP or VC is a red card required. As long as your opinion holds the challenge for the ball was reasonable we can be ok with a caution but if the challenge is solely to take out the player with no thought to the ball then red only is the correct colour.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Alex,
As you have described it, if this was not a DOGSO offence and not a reckless challenge then there is no requirement for a caution for an offence that stops a promising attack when a penalty is awarded.

You have also correctly quoted from Law 12 (football has Laws, not rules, by the way) as to why this is so.

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