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Question Number: 32823

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 10/22/2018

RE: Select Under 16

Patrick of Portage, MI USA asks...

I had an incident in a game the other day. A player goes to take a corner kick. He touches the ball and it moves slightly. Then it is yelled that another player take the kick instead by the coach. The second player comes over and plays them live ball.
I stopped the play and awarded an indirect free kick to the opposing team. The coach and I discussed it after the game.
I treated it like a throw-in or calling for the ball from the opposing team and/or simulation and considered it unsporting behavior, though I did not issue a caution.
I checked the laws and there is nothing under corner kicks the specifically forbids this though I can make an argument that under cautionable offensive "verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart". Did I make the correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Pat,
The trick corner still prevails lol .

I appreciate your thinking something was off but not exactly sure of the INDFK restart for a coaches' USB?

You see to have this INDFK awarded to the opposing team you would have to accept the ball WAS in play at the 1st touch BUT was it?? Was the ball clearly kicked into play? You accept the restart DID occur and MISCONDUCT by the coach has caused you to now intervene.

Otherwise it is misconduct BEFORE the restart & the restart should remain the same.

If you accept the ball is NOT yet in play then you would not award the INDFK to the opposition. Just interrupt and tell the new guy going to the corner we will go on my whistle deflates the whole thing! The coach has intervened in an unreasonable manner but he is not a player so you warn him .

If you allowed play to continue to where the 2nd player was dribbling on the second touch you could award an INDFK IF you DO NOT accept the ball was kicked into play by the first player.

The coach did not need to shout out anything, in this case he unreasonably affected the restart by doing so . They should simply teach the player to put the ball just on the corner touchline against the flag then tap the ball into the arc (NOT A CONTINUED FOOT ROLL IT MUST BE A CLEARLY VISIBLE KICK)as if that is where you want the ball away from the flag. Run out ,exchange kickers hope the defenders did not see what you did hope the CR realized what you did.

It is now habit by many referees to restart corners with a whistle given the crap that occurs inside the PA.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Patrick,
I would agree with you that something of an unsporting nature is going on here. The questions for me are, what exact offence (if any) has occurred and how to deal with it. If the distracting (and unsporting) call had come from a player, I think you would have a fairly clear case of verbally distracting an opponent leading to a caution and an indirect free kick restart. However that offence is only applicable to players and the indirect free kick restart only comes after stopping play to issue a caution which also is not a possibility since coaches cannot be cautioned.

For me, this is one of these situations covered by the following passage from the Laws:

''The Laws cannot deal with every possible situation, so where there is no direct provision in the Laws, The IFAB expects the referee to make a decision within the 'spirit' of the game this often involves asking the question, ''what would football want/expect?'' ''

I can see the argument that what many people might want in this situation is an indirect free kick for the unsporting behaviour, even though it was by a coach rather than a player but I'm struggling a little to find a justification for it in the Laws so I think what many referees would prefer to go with (and what I would choose here) would be a quick whistle to halt proceedings as soon as the coach yells out, and a retake of the corner kick. This is admittedly also a bit of a fudge, but I think it is (just about) more in keeping with the overall spirit of the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Patrick
The corner kick ruse is alive and well.
I do not like these ruse situations and they can be dealt with in several ways.
1. If a player verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart that is a caution and an IDFK restart.
2. If the ball is only touched and the ball is not seen to move then the second player can be penalised for a double touch infringement
3. In the case where the coach is shouting which is done for unsporting reasons a referee can deem that as acting in an irresponsible manner for which play can be stopped. The restart will depend on when the action happened.
For what it is worth I just stop these situations every single time with a whistle and ask for the nominated player to take the kick. I do that after the first player has moved away. I simply say * Okay Number X we will have the corner kick on my whistle please* I might also have a word with other players that were pushing / jostling the GK while all this is going on which can distract the referees attention anyway.

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