The Memories & Spirit of the Game, as only Ken Aston could teach it...
Enjoy, your journey here on...
Play on!!!
Andrew Castiglione
Founder of Ken Aston Referee Society

Hit Counter

The aim of this page is to show how the Referee
By application of the 'Advantage Clause'
Can retain overall match control,
and allow play to continue when an offence has been committed.



Match Influences effecting Advantage:

Atmospheric' influences effecting Advantage:

Referees Perspective:

The Assistant Referees' Role with Advantage:


Questions and Answers:

"A Referee shall allow play to continue when the team against,
Which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage."


When a foul is committed on a player, the award of a free kick to that player's team is not always to their best advantage, because it can allow time for the offending team time to reorganize its defense. In many cases, the offended team would receive far greater benefit if play were allowed to continue instead of being awarded a free kick award. Law 5 allows the Referee to use his judgment in making decisions to the greater advantage of the offended team.

The Advantage Clause allows the Referee two options following a foul:

1. Allow play to continue to the advantage of the team who the foul was committed against, and penalize for the original foul if the advantage does not accrue - or

2. Stop play immediately and award a free kick or penalty to the offended team.

Applying advantage is the Referees prerogative - he can either apply advantage, or he can NOT apply advantage. In reality, Referees use a combination of the above two options in every game, to control and keep the game flowing with the minimum of stoppages. During a good-natured match, the Referee will play advantage on nearly all occasions when the offended team retains possession in favorable circumstances. Conversely, during an ill tempered match, the Referee will hardly ever award advantage for fear of losing control of the game and allowing players time to seek retribution by taking the Law into their own hands. Although Referees can caution or send-off a player some time after an incident has occurred - failure to act quickly in fractious circumstances may result in an ugly situation developing into a violent situation. If a serious foul occurs or if there is any hint of an assault taking place, the Referee should stop play immediately and NOT allow advantage to develop. Allowing advantage in the penalty area of the offending team can also cause problems - conversely, if following an innocuous foul on a defender, the ball makes it way to the defender's goalkeeper - it is better to allow the goalkeeper to continue play by kicking the ball from his hands up field, than to stop play and award a free kick (so long as there is no danger to the goalkeeper or any other player).

When awarding advantage, the Referee should inform the players of his decision by:

1. Shouting: "Play on! - Advantage".

2. Extending and sweeping both arms forwards and upwards at waist level.

This informs the players that the Referee has acknowledged the foul. Failure to 'communicate' advantage will lead to players assuming that the Referee has not seen the offence. This will make players lose confidence in the Referee.


The Advantage clause amendment appeared in Law 5-season 1996/1997, as International Board Decision 7. This original Law 5 text and FIFA instructions were as follows:

"If the Referee applies the advantage clause and the advantage which was anticipated does not develop at that time, the Referee shall penalize the original offence."

The amendment seeks to indicate a timescale during which the Referee may penalize the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not develop.

This now gives the Referee the possibility of waiting to see how an advantage situation develops and if it does not develop after a short while, e.g. two/three seconds, then the Referee has to immediately stop the game and penalize the original offence, provided that the ball is still in play (if not, then play must be restarted in accordance with the Law). Furthermore, should a player of the offending team commit a second offence during the time the Referee is allowing for the development of the anticipated advantage, then the Referee must sanction the more serious of the two offences. In any case, this does not exempt each offending player from being dealt with appropriately (caution or dismissal) by the Referee.

The modern Law 5 text is shown in the paragraph below:

The Referee "allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalizes the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time."

Before the 1996/1997 season, if the Referee allowed an advantage, he was not allowed to bring play back and penalize the original offence if subsequently, the advantage did not develop.

In other words, it was just bad luck for the team whose player had been fouled.

A free kick awarded for a foul should not benefit the team that committed the foul. The essence of the modern advantage clause is to promote fairness to the offended team, and not to allow the offending team an unfair advantage by allowing them to re-brigade their defending players in readiness for a free kick against them. The advantage clause also allows the Referee to keep play moving - thus promoting flowing football.

It is important to remember two facets of this developing Law 5 change. Firstly the wording encapsulating the time allowed for a Referee to bring back an advantage to the original scene of the foul.

"If it does not develop after a short while, e.g. two/three seconds"

The latest Law 5 text does not mention specific time, so it is important not to lose visibility of this original time measurement allowance - especially for new trainee Referees.

And secondly, if the Referee allows advantage, and lets play continue - if a second offence is committed by a player of the offending team during the time the Referee is allowing for the development of the anticipated advantage, then the Referee must sanction the more serious of the two offences.

Example: A defender attempts to impede attacker 2 meters outside of the defender's penalty area. Although the attacker is unbalanced and falters, he manages to keep upright, retains possession of the ball and moves towards goal.

The Referee shouts "Play on, Advantage!"

The attacker moves into the defender's penalty area where he is immediately tripped by another defender and fouled a second time, resulting in the attacker falling to the ground. The award is a penalty kick (for the more serious offence/punishment) and not an indirect free kick (for the lesser offence/punishment) for the original impedance.

If the attacker had not been fouled a second time, and had gained no advantage from being allowed to play-on; the Referee should stop play within two/three seconds and award the attacking team an indirect free kick at the place outside of the penalty area where the first foul (impedance) occurred.

Further advice based on information from Ken Ridden Director of Refereeing The Football Association England was provided to Referees in the form of 'Guidance Notes For Referees 1996/1997'. His advice covering the advantage clause was as follows:

"The change in Decision 7 (Law 5), referring to the Advantage Clause, is very significant and requires a lot of thought. The new wording is intended to ensure that the team offended against does not suffer unfairly if a Referee reasonably applies the advantage clause, but the advantage is immediately nullified by extraneous factors. It must be noted that if the Advantage clause is invoked and the player offended against loses control of the ball as a result of his own error, then play must be allowed to continue. Likewise, if a player receives the ball from and advantage’ situation but shoots wide of the goal, the original offence should not be penalized with a free kick.

It is more important than ever, that Referees identify appropriate 'advantage' situations early, and convey their intentions to the players, a clear shout and the correct hand signal.

At local league level players often see a greater benefit in a free kick, only expecting the advantage if there is a clear-cut (obvious) attacking opportunity.

The change of the wording of this Law does not change the necessity to consider all factors when applying advantage, what it does, is affords a 'safety valve'. A Referee may now legally, award a free kick after an advantage does not transpire through an act of fate.

The long-standing principle of the Advantage Clause remains the same. You should remember that as a Referee you must look at the anticipated advantage in terms of the team offended against and not judge the issue solely on whether the fouled player retains possession of the ball after the unfair challenge."

The above 'History' is a small insight into 'when and why' the Advantage clause was added to the Laws. The principles included above are still adhered to today and offer an understanding on how the Advantage clause has developed and how the modern Referee should use it.

"The offended team should never be disadvantaged by the Referee's advantage."

Match Influences effecting Advantage:

One of the greatest feelings that a Referee can experience following the application of an advantage, is when the team who have been offended against, are allowed by the Referee to continue with play and subsequently score a goal. This feeling is even more accentuated, if during the 'giving' of the advantage, players from the offended team had sought in vain to persuade the Referee to stop play for the foul. This is when the Referee can quietly smile towards the players, knowing that he rightly allowed play to continue because of the chance of a subsequent goal being scored.

The Laws are intended to allow games to be played with as little interference as possible, and with this in mind, it is the duty of the Referee not to penalize every single breach of the Law. Constant whistling for trifling and doubtful breaches of the Law produces bad feeling and loss of temper on the part of the players and spoils the enjoyment of the game.

Every game and every advantage incident is different - so it is impossible to teach all advantage expectations. Nevertheless, a Referee who applies advantage correctly and fairly will enhance the quality if the game and his performance. Advantage is a useful tool that allows the Referee to adjust and readjust control of a game should it get out of hand - by allowing advantage to flow in a good natured game or not allowing any advantage, thus retaining full control during a fractious game.

The Referee is not advised to apply advantage following incidents of a serious nature. Doing so will allow time for retribution to be taken by players - and this could lead to even more serious trouble occurring. In such cases, the Referee should ignore any appeals to allow advantage to continue. For example - if a defender commits a 'leg breaking tackle’ from behind, on an attacker (and yes they do occur from time to time) but the ball breaks to a colleague of the injured attacker who subsequently moves towards goal - the Referee should stop play immediately (unless it is blatantly obvious that a goal will be scored in the next second or so) and swiftly deal with the perpetrator of the offence by sending him off. If the Referee allows play to continue by invoking the advantage clause, then the chances are that a colleague of the injured player will seek retribution by committing a violent act against either the perpetrator or one of the perpetrator's colleagues. By stopping play immediately, the Referee has retained control of a potentially tricky and escalating situation, and by doing so, shows the players that HE is the only one permitted to hand-out punishment on the field of play.

Following the award of an advantage, the Referee must either rebuke the player who committed the foul, or caution him (or send him of) depending on the severity of the offence. This will prevent (or at least greatly lessen) retaliation being taken by players later on in the game. It is important to 'nip' provocation in the 'bud' in the early stages. Rebuking players can be done quietly whilst running alongside - or for a more serious rebuke, openly by calling the perpetrator towards you during a stoppage in play.

The Referee should make it evidently clear when he has awarded an advantage - by shouting "Play on!, Advantage!" and by moving both hands forward in a sweeping motion upwards at waist level. Explaining advantage decisions to players can also help communication between the Referee and players. It is very important that the Referee signals by using both voice and arms - this is a widely-know and accepted signal that must be simply executed without flamboyance or eccentricity. Awarding and showing advantage should be done as quickly as possible - any delay by the Referee in deciding whether to award advantage or not, will be seen by the players as a weakness of positive thinking. Paradoxically - allowing a slight delay to see how play develops may on occasions lead to a more successful application of the advantage clause. In other words, don’t always blow the whistle too quickly.

Referees should not use the advantage signal when an incident has been observed, but is judged not to be a foul (or is a trifling or doubtful foul) otherwise this will be confusing for the players. Shouting "Play on" can confuse players. Does this mean that the Referee has seen a foul and allowed advantage? Or does it mean that no foul had occurred and the Referee has allowed play to continue? In such circumstances, the Referee would be better shouting: "Play on. No foul". In most cases where no foul has occurred, it is better just to allow play to continue without saying or indicating anything. The shout of "Play on Advantage" should only be used following a definite foul.

If following a foul, there is the slightest hint of retaliation being taken by players; advantage should not be applied. It can sometimes be difficult to anticipate retaliation, but the Referee should leave his eyes (for just a few milli-seconds) on the scene of the incident, before following the path of the ball. Retaliation normally occurs at the scene of the crime, so it is important not to immediately follow the flight of the ball after an incident.

The Referee will need to penalize the original offence as soon as the advantage does not materialize. In other words, if the advantage does not materialize in the first second, there is no need to wait the full two/three seconds allowed before stopping play for the free kick.

The age of players can be factored into the Referee's advantage equation. Young players lack the maturity to understand and to benefit from an advantage. They also lack the physical prowess to capitalize on most advantages given. That is not to say that the Referee should NEVER apply advantage with young players. As an extreme example - an advantage given to a young team 1 meter inside their opponents half of the field of play is not quite the same as allowing advantage to an English Premier League team in the same position. The young team players would benefit more from a free kick, whereas the Premier side are skilful enough to monopolizes the situation to their benefit - and actually want the Referee to keep play moving whenever possible. The skill level of the teams must also be considered. A Sunday morning team would probably benefit more if a free kick is awarded to them inside their own half of the field of play, as opposed to the Referee allowing them an advantage. Conversely, highly skilful teams will accept an advantage in any part of the field of play.

Advantage should be applied carefully and thoughtfully when veteran players or disabled players are involved.

Ground conditions will also effect the extent to which advantage can be allowed to develop. Allowing advantage on a normal pitch is different to allowing advantage on a frosty or very muddy pitch surface. In these cases, the offended team will probably gain a better advantage by the award of the free kick, rather than being allowed to run on with the ball.

The prerogative of awarding advantage belongs solely to the Referee. He should not be influenced by any appeals from players, managers, coaches or spectators who for some strange reason seem always to know better than the qualified Referee. The Referee should prepare himself to deal with dissent from team officials (e.g. managers and coaches). In most cases, these should just be ignored.

'Atmospheric' influences effecting Advantage:

The application of the ‘Advantage Clause’ depends very much on the mood of the players, the climate of individual games, the differing skill levels of the competing teams, history of previous encounters, whether relegation or promotion or Cup final issues are at stake, and whether the Moon is in the correct position!

A Referee can treat two identical incidents completely differently. For example - following a foul in one game, the Referee allowed advantage to develop. In an identical incident during a different game, the Referee stopped play to award the free kick. Therefore, the incident itself is invariably not always the only measure for awarding advantage or not - there are many other outside factors to consider before the Referee decides. This can also happen within the same game itself. In the first half, the Referee allowed advantage, but in the second half following a similar foul, the Referee stopped play immediately and awarded a free kick. The reasons why he did this are numerous - one being that the first half was played in a very sporting manner, but the second half had developed into World War 3 - necessitating tighter control on the game by the Referee (including NOT awarding any advantage in an attempt to stabilize control of the game.) When taking such varying action in the same game, the Referee will undoubtedly receive taunts of "inconsistency". Ignore such rebukes, the consistency lies within the way the Referee retains ‘consistent control’ of the game, and if this means adjusting the way he permits advantage - then retaining control of the game is far more important than such petty comments.

"The foul is only the catalyst when deciding advantage - the answer is in the foul itself,
plus the variable equation of circumstances surrounding it."

The Referee can sometimes be discreet in establishing and building up control in the early stages of an anticipated difficult encounter. One method towards gradually building full control is NOT to award ‘total’ advantage early on in the game, but work it in gradually until advantage can be applied more liberally without jeopardizing early command of the game.

Advantage should never be used by the Referee to negate taking action to protect players' individual skills and flair. In other words, applying advantage should not be an alternative ‘prize’ to properly and rightly disciplining offending players for fouls committed. Advantage should never be used as an excuse for not dealing properly and positively with offenders. The Referee must never use advantage solely as a disguise for failing to act on the offence seen. In other words, if the original foul warrants a caution (or a red card), the perpetrator should be punished accordingly when play allows.

Referees must apply restraint when allowing advantage, and never use the application to solely seek pleasure themselves. The Advantage Clause is there for the players’ benefit, and not to feed the reputation of indulgent or over-ambitious Referees.

Referees Perspective:

Advantage is a tool that if used properly, will promote the flow of the game, and increase enjoyment all round. The Referee therefore, has a duty to use and learn the application of this clause. Proper application will rightly enhance a Referees ability and reputation.

(a) Players' respect for each other and towards the Referee

(b) Skill levels

(c) Proper game control by the Referee

(d) Players’ team discipline......... are all factors influencing when advantage should or should not be applied by the Referee. These are feelings and factors that are difficult to describe on paper, but are very easy to discern during match action.

Referees are advised to ignore sweeping generalizations when considering the application of the advantage clause.

Advice such as:

(a) "Never play advantage in the first fifteen minutes" or

(b) "Only allow advantage in the last attacking third of the field of play"

Are too simplified to be of any use.

There are many factors to consider such as:

(i) the passing skill of a team, or

(ii) the age of the players - that make generalizations confusing to apply. Each advantage must be considered in its own context, and not governed by such broad statements. Advantage was never meant to be governed by constraining generalizations - it is a flexible clause that enhances the total game and not just pre-selected parts of it.

Allowing advantage can depend on the position on the field of play where the offence is committed. For example, a team with little football skill will not appreciate advantage being awarded to them in the close vicinity of their goal (e.g. in their defensive part of the field of play). The award of a free kick is more advantageous to them, because the ball can be safely kicked up field. (out of immediate danger) into their opponents’ half. A team of inferior skill, will be less likely to be able to keep possession of the ball in their own half, long enough to gain a benefit from any advantage. But these are just a few things that need to be considered in every game - because advantage depends on a number of other factors as well. The age of players also needs to be factored into the advantage equation – as mentioned before, younger players are less likely to benefit from advantage than older players are. Many Referees do not play advantage in the defensive half when young teams are involved. Conversely, it is not unusual for one young aged team to be far superior in skill to their opponents - in this case, the Referee may be able to allow advantage to that team if an offence is committed against them in their own half. As a measure, the nearer an attacking team is to their opponent's goal, the more effective an advantage will be.

If a team has a free kick expert - a free kick may be the better option for them if an offence occurs near their opponents’ penalty area.

Referees will need to consider very carefully, and act swiftly when deciding advantage (or not) to an attacking team in the defending team's penalty area. Unless it is plainly obvious that allowing advantage to the attacking team will result in a certain goal The Referee should err on the side of caution and stop play as quickly as he can when an offence is committed against an attacker in the defending team's penalty area. This will certainly prevent complex problems arising if a foul in the penalty area is ignored - but the advantage does not develop. The award of a penalty kick is probably more beneficial to a team, than that team being allowed advantage in their opponents’ penalty area. If a Referee allows advantage following an offence in the penalty area, and the attacker subsequently shoots and misses the goal (or the goalkeeper saves it), the Referee should not award that team a free kick (or penalty) for the original offence. This would be tantamount to offering the attacking team two advantages and this would not be fair, and is against the spirit of the game. Applying advantage in the penalty area is the Referee's most difficult task. The Referee needs to be less flexible in his application of advantage when it happens inside the penalty area.

"If the advantage works, the Referee is God,

If it does not work, the Referee is the Devil!!!"

Possession of the ball should not be the main factor when allowing advantage. In certain circumstances, the team, who has been offended against, may gain no advantage at all by merely retaining possession of the ball. The advantage comes, if that team is able to make good progress towards their opponent's goal, and increase their attacking possibilities. Possession alone (particularly in a team's own half) can very often swing the advantage towards the team who committed the foul. If a player whom advantage has been allowed still has a number of opponent's 'closing' him down, then the better option would be to award a free kick for the original offence.

If following the award of advantage to a player in his own half, that player has no option but to progress backward towards his own goal, then this is not very advantageous. The Referee should award a free kick for the original offence.

The Assistant Referees' Role with Advantage:

Advantage or play-on signs by an Assistant Referee risk causing major confusion. Assistant Referees should not shout or indicate ‘Play on’ or ‘Advantage’. This is always the prerogative of the Referee. The Referee is the only match official who should indicate advantage. Assistant Referees have been seen to indicate "Play-on. Advantage", by putting out their arm or a hand, following an assumed offside that had not been given by that Assistant Referee. The Referee is the only one who should indicate "Play-on. Advantage". Imagine a situation following a foul, where the Assistant Referee uses an arm signal to indicate "Play-on. Advantage", and then a goal is scored which is subsequently disallowed because the Referee calls play back for the original foul and awards a free kick instead.

Assistant Referees should never shout or indicate ‘Play on’ or ‘Advantage’.


Assistant Referees are very often seen signaling to players with a wave of their hand when allowing play to continue following an appeal for offside. Such signals from the Assistant Referee are not required and will eventually lead to confusion and trouble. The fact that an Assistant Referee has NOT raised his flag to award an offside is enough to tell the players that no offside has occurred.

During the Referee’s pre-match briefing to his Assistant Referees, they will be told something along the lines of:
"Offside are yours at all times. If I want to keep play going following an offside flag signal, I will acknowledge you with a raised arm (demonstrate). If I completely miss an offside flag, keep the flag raised until I notice it - OR - if play breaks to the advantage of the defending team, drop your flag and allow play to continue. Let me know at the end of each half - if I have missed any of your signals."

If following an offside signal by an Assistant Referee, the ball subsequently travels safely to the defending goalkeeper - an astute Referee will often apply the advantage clause and allow play to continue, acknowledge his Assistant Referee, and allow play to carry on by clearly indicating advantage.

The Assistant Referees should bring any offences not seen by the Referee, to the Referee’s attention. Although Assistant Referees do not signal or decide advantage, they can indicate to the Referee when a foul has been committed - thus allowing the Referee to decide on allowing advantage or not. If play is stopped for the foul, the Assistant Referee should indicate the direction of the free kick and (if in close proximity) ensure that the free kick is taken properly.

Assistant Referees should also highlight any further fouls following the award of an advantage. For example, following the award of advantage to an attacker, the attacker's shirtsleeve is pulled preventing him making fair progress. The incident is unseen by the Referee, but is witnessed by an Assistant Referee. In this case, the Assistant should raise his flag to indicate a second foul committed on the attacker. The Referee will then decide either to allow a second advantage, or to stop play to award a free kick.

If a flag signal for any type of offence is not immediately seen by the Referee, the Assistant Referee must keep signaling until he is acknowledged by the Referee or until the Assistant Referee recognizes a clear advantage to the team against which the offence has been committed. The Referee will normally acknowledge his Assistant Referees’ signals during play, if he (the Referee) wishes to apply advantage and keep play going in normal circumstances.

If a Referee decides to penalize an original foul committed on the edge of the penalty area following an allowed advantaged that did not accrue - the Assistant Referee may be asked to indicate to the Referee whether the foul occurred inside or outside of the penalty area.


In practical terms, learning advantage is best gleaned by experience on the field of play and not in the classroom, or by studying textbooks. Nevertheless, the advantage advice given here may help Referees to understand the complexities and variable factors involved in applying the advantage clause correctly and confidently. With experience, advantage becomes very easy and very enjoyable to apply. It becomes second nature, and Referees know by instinct when to award advantage and when not to. In a game, Referees do not have time to contemplate the reasons for advantage decision-making - it must be done in an instant.

It comes naturally after a while, and is one of the Referees favorite tools.

Questions and Answers:

Question 1: During the taking of a penalty kick in normal time, is the Referee allowed to apply advantage if a defending player encroaches into the penalty area before the penalty kick has taken place?

Answer 1: As far as advantage is concerned, Laws 5 (Referees' Powers and Duties) states:

"A Referee shall allow play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from such an advantage".

Law 14 (The Penalty Kick) states that if a defending player encroaches into the penalty area before the penalty kick has been taken, the Referee should allow the kick to proceed. And if a goal is scored, then it should be allowed to count. If a goal is not scored, then the penalty kick should be retaken.

As soon as a penalty kick has been taken (i.e. the ball has been kicked and moves forward), the ball comes into normal play and the Law 5 advantage clause applies - the same as it would do normally. In other words, if a defending player has infringed the Laws by encroaching into the penalty area before the penalty kick has taken place, the Referee can allow 2 to 3 seconds to apply advantage to the attacking team. If the advantage does not accrue, then the penalty kick can be retaken (for example, if the ball rebounds off the crossbar and is cleared away by a defending player). Of course, Referees will need to consider very carefully, and act swiftly when deciding advantage (or not) to an attacking team following the taking of a penalty kick. Advantage should only be applied if it is plainly obvious that allowing advantage will result in a definite goal. If when during the taking of a penalty kick, an infringement is committed by a defender, the Referee should err on the side of caution and stop play as quickly and as soon as he can. This will certainly prevent complex problems arising if a further infringement by either team occurs, or if an encroachment in the penalty area is ignored to allow advantage, but a second shot on goal is saved. The retake of the penalty kick is probably more beneficial to an attacking team, than the attacking team being allowed an advantage.

In normal play, if a Referee allows advantage following an offence, and the attacker subsequently takes a shot on goal and misses the goal (or the goalkeeper saves it), the Referee should not award that attacking team a free kick (or penalty) for the original offence. This would be tantamount to offering the attacking team two advantages (chances to score) and this would not be fair, and is against the 'spirit of the game'. As far as the penalty kick is concerned, if the Referee allows advantage (because of a defender's encroachment) and allows the attacking team to take another legal shot at goal - if that shot is subsequently saved, then the attacking team should not be given another chance by retaking the penalty kick. Applying advantage in the penalty area, is one of the Referee's most difficult task. The Referee needs to be less flexible in his application of advantage when it happens inside the penalty area. In these instances where a defender has infringed Law 14 - (The Penalty Kick), and a goal has not been scored immediately, Referees are advised to stop play as soon as a defender encroaches, or the ball rebounds back into play. Doing otherwise may result in the possibility of the defending team gaining the ball and kicking it out of harms way (or worse still, an attacking player having a second legal shot saved by the goalkeeper). Of course, if the penalty kick taker immediately gains possession of the ball after it has rebounded off the goalkeeper, and immediately proceeds to score a goal before the Referee has had time to stop the game; the Referee will apply Law 18 Common sense, and allow the goal to count as mentioned above. When it 'boils down to it', the Referee should use his discretion when deciding what to do if a defender encroaches. But on the whole during penalty kicks, applying advantage by allowing the attacking team to take a second shot on goal following a rebound or a defending team player’s encroachment, can lead to the advantage being given to the defending team.

Question 2: A defender grabs the shirt of an attacking player. The Referee sees the foul but allows advantage to the attacking player. Unfortunately the attacking player is upset and elbows the defender in the head to break free. What action should the Referee take?

Answer 2: Law 5 states that when a player commits two offences at the same time, the Referee should punish the more serious offence. But this rule does not apply in this case, because the two offences were committed by opposing players. In this instance, the Referee should stop play. Send off the attacking player for ‘Violent Conduct’. Play should be restarted with a direct free kick (or penalty kick) to the defending team. The defending player should be cautioned.

Notwithstanding that the correct punishment (Caution of sending off) should always be meted out by the Referee regardless of whether an incident occurs during an advantage period or not – when an advantage has been given by the Referee, he allows play to continue by ignoring the first offence. In other words, the Referee has decided not to stop play. If the player who has been given the advantage then decides to commit an offence himself, the Referee should not ignore this second offence. He should stop play, punish the infringement correctly, and use the appropriate restart for the second offence (whatever the offence may be).

+-+ BACK TO TOP +-+
Page updated on... Tuesday, August 26, 2014 @ 02:24:35 -0700 AM-GMT
+- Webmaster -+