Founder of Ken Aston Referee Society
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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)
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
Match Influences effecting
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
(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
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
"If the advantage works, the Referee is God,
If it does not work, the Referee is the
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
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
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
Questions and Answers:
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)
"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.
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