Laws Of The Game

2015/16

LAWS OF
THE GAME
2015/2016
 
6 1 – The Field of Play
15 2 – The Ball
18 3 – The Number of Players
22 4 – The Players’ Equipment
25 5 – The Referee
29 6 – The Assistant Referees
30 7 – The Duration of the Match
31 8 – The Start and Restart of Play
34 9 – The Ball In and Out of Play
35 10 – The Method of Scoring
36 11 – Offside
37 12 – Fouls and Misconduct
41 13 – Free Kicks
45 14 – The Penalty Kick
49 15 – The Throw-in
51 16 – The Goal Kick
53 17 – The Corner Kick
55 Procedures to Determine the Winner of a Match
or Home-and-Away
58 The Technical Area
59 The Fourth Official and the Reserve Assistant Referee
60 The Additional Assistant Referee
61 Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and
Guidelines for Referees
6 LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
Field surface
Matches may be played on natural or artificial surfaces, according to the rules
of the competition.
The colour of artificial surfaces must be green.
Where artificial surfaces are used in either competition matches between
representative teams of member associations affiliated to FIFA or international
club competition matches, the surface must meet the requirements of the FIFA
Quality Concept for Football Turf or the International Artificial Turf Standard,
unless special dispensation is given by FIFA.
Field markings
The field of play must be rectangular and marked with lines. These lines belong
to the areas of which they are boundaries.
The two longer boundary lines are called touch lines. The two shorter lines are
called goal lines.
The field of play is divided into two halves by a halfway line, which joins the
midpoints of the two touch lines.
The centre mark is indicated at the midpoint of the halfway line. A circle with a
radius of 9.15 m (10 yds) is marked around it.
Marks may be made off the field of play, 9.15 m (10 yds) from the corner
arc and at right angles to the goal lines and the touch lines, to ensure that
defending players retreat this distance when a corner kick is being taken.
LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY 7
Dimensions
The length of the touch line must be greater than the length of the goal line.
Length (touch line): minimum 90 m (100 yds)
maximum 120 m (130 yds)
Width (goal line): minimum 45 m (50 yds)
maximum 90 m (100 yds)
All lines must be of the same width, which must be not more than
12 cm (5 ins).
International matches
Length: minimum 100 m (110 yds)
maximum 110 m (120 yds)
Width: minimum 64 m (70 yds)
maximum 75 m (80 yds)
The goal area
Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 5.5 m (6 yds) from the
inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance
of 5.5 m (6 yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line. The
area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the goal area.
8 LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
The penalty area
Two lines are drawn at right angles to the goal line, 16.5 m (18 yds) from the
inside of each goalpost. These lines extend into the field of play for a distance
of 16.5 m (18 yds) and are joined by a line drawn parallel with the goal line.
The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is the penalty area.
Within each penalty area, a penalty mark is made 11 m (12 yds) from the
midpoint between the goalposts and equidistant to them.
An arc of a circle with a radius of 9.15 m (10 yds) from the centre of each
penalty mark is drawn outside the penalty area.
Flagposts
A flagpost, not less than 1.5 m (5 ft) high, with a non-pointed top and a flag
must be placed at each corner.
Flagposts may also be placed at each end of the halfway line, not less than 1 m
(1 yd) outside the touch line.
The corner arc
A quarter circle with a radius of 1 m (1 yd) from each corner flagpost is drawn
inside the field of play.
9
Goals
A goal must be placed on the centre of each goal line.
A goal consists of two upright posts equidistant from the corner flagposts and
joined at the top by a horizontal crossbar. The goalposts and crossbar must
be made of wood, metal or other approved material. They must be square,
rectangular, round or elliptical in shape and must not be dangerous to players.
The distance between the posts is 7.32 m (8 yds) and the distance from the
lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is 2.44 m (8 ft).
7.32 m (8 yds)
2.44 m
(8 ft)
LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
10
The position of the goalposts in relation to the goal line must be according to
the graphics below.
If the shape of the goalposts is square (viewed from above), the sides must be
parallel or perpendicular to the goal line. The sides of the crossbar must be
parallel or perpendicular to the field plane.
If the shape of the goalposts is elliptical (viewed from above), the longest axis
must be perpendicular to the goal line. The longest axis of the crossbar must
be parallel to the field plane.
If the shape of the goalposts is rectangular (viewed from above), the longest
side must be perpendicular to the goal line. The longest side of the crossbar
must be parallel to the field plane.
LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
11
Both goalposts and the crossbar have the same width and depth, which
do not exceed 12 cm (5 ins). The goal lines must be of the same width as
the goalposts and the crossbar. Nets may be attached to the goals and the
ground behind the goal, provided that they are properly supported and do not
interfere with the goalkeeper.
The goalposts and crossbars must be white.
Safety
Goals must be anchored securely to the ground. Portable goals may only be
used if they satisfy this requirement.
LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
12 LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
The field of play
Corner flagpost
PENALTY AREA
GOAL LINE CORNER ARC
OPTIONAL
MARK
TOUCH LINE
CENTRE MARK
CENTRE CIRCLE
HALFWAY LINE
PENALTY ARC
FLAGPOST
(optional)
TOUCH LINE
GOAL LINE
GOAL AREA
PENALTY MARK
CORNER FLAGPOST
(compulsory)
OPTIONAL MARK
Flag to be not less than
1.5 m/5 ft high with a
non-pointed top
Lines to be not more
than 12 cm/5 ins
wide
Corner flagpost is compulsory
Corner arc
LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY 13
Metric measurements
Imperial measurements
16.5 m
1 m radius
Length: Maximum 120 m Minimum 90 m
Width:
Maximum 90 m Minimum 45 m
7.32 m
9.15 m
11 m
5.5 m
16.5 m
Radius:
9.15 m
5.5 m
9.15 m
9.15 m
18 yds
1 yd radius
Length: Maximum 130 yds Minimum 100 yds
Width:
Maximum 100 yds Minimum 50 yds
8 yds
10 yds
12 yds
6 yds
18 yds
Radius:
10 yds
6 yds
10 yds
10 yds
14 LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
Decisions of the International F.A. Board
Decision 1
Where a technical area exists, it must meet the requirements approved by the
International F.A. Board, which are contained in the section of this publication
entitled The Technical Area.
Decision 2
Where goal-line technology (GLT) is used, modifications to the goal frame may
be allowed. They must be in accordance with the specifications stipulated in
the FIFA Quality Programme for GLT and according to the above description,
“Goals”.
LAW 2 – THE BALL 15
Qualities and measurements
The ball is:
• spherical
• made of leather or other suitable material
• of a circumference of not more than 70 cm (28 ins) and not less than
68 cm (27 ins)
• not more than 450 g (16 oz) and not less than 410 g (14 oz) in weight at
the start of the match
• of a pressure equal to 0.6 – 1.1 atmosphere (600 – 1,100 g/cm2) at sea
level (8.5 lbs/sq in – 15.6 lbs/sq in)
Replacement of a defective ball
If the ball bursts or becomes defective during the course of a match:
• the match is stopped
• the match is restarted by dropping the replacement ball at the place where
the original ball became defective, unless play was stopped inside the goal
area, in which case the referee drops the replacement ball on the goal area
line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the original ball
was located when play was stopped
If the ball bursts or becomes defective during a penalty kick or during kicks
from the penalty mark as it moves forward and before it touches any player or
the crossbar or goalposts:
• the penalty kick is retaken
If the ball bursts or becomes defective whilst not in play at a kick-off, goal kick,
corner kick, free kick, penalty kick or throw-in:
• the match is restarted accordingly
The ball may not be changed during the match without the authority of the
referee.
16 LAW 2 – THE BALL
Decisions of the International F.A. Board
Decision 1
In addition to the requirements of Law 2, acceptance of a ball for use in
matches played in an official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA
or the confederations is conditional upon the ball bearing one of the following
marks:
• FIFA Quality PRO
• FIFA Quality
• IMS - INTERNATIONAL MATCHBALL STANDARD
Balls carrying previous quality marks such as “FIFA Approved”, “FIFA
Inspected” or “International Match Standard” may be used in aforementioned
competitions until July 2017.
Such a logo on a ball indicates that it has been tested officially and found to
be in compliance with specific technical requirements, different for each logo
and additional to the minimum specifications stipulated in Law 2. The list of
the additional requirements specific to each of the respective logos must be
approved by the International F.A. Board. The institutes conducting the tests
are subject to the approval of FIFA.
Member association competitions may also require the use of balls bearing any
one of these three logos.
Decision 2
In matches played in an official competition organised under the auspices of
FIFA, the confederations or the member associations, no form of commercial
advertising on the ball is permitted, except for the emblem of the competition,
the competition organiser and the authorised trademark of the manufacturer.
The competition regulations may restrict the size and number of such
markings.
LAW 2 – THE BALL 17
Decision 3
Where goal-line technology (GLT) is used, balls with integrated technology
are allowed, but they must either be “FIFA APPROVED”, “FIFA INSPECTED” or
“INTERNATIONAL MATCHBALL STANDARD” (see “Decision 1”).
18 LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Number of Players
A match is played by two teams, each consisting of not more than eleven
players, one of whom is the goalkeeper. A match may not start if either team
consists of fewer than seven players.
Number of substitutions
Official competitions
Up to a maximum of three substitutes may be used in any match played in an
official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA, the confederations or
the member associations.
The rules of the competition must state how many substitutes may be
nominated, from three up to a maximum of twelve.
Other matches
In national “A” team matches, up to a maximum of six substitutes may be
used.
In all other matches, a greater number of substitutes may be used provided
that:
• the teams concerned reach agreement on a maximum number
• the referee is informed before the match
If the referee is not informed, or if no agreement is reached before the match,
no more than six substitutes are allowed.
Return Substitutions
The use of return substitutions is only permitted in the lowest levels (grassroots/
recreational) of football, subject to the agreement of the member association
concerned.
LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS 19
Substitution procedure
In all matches, the names of the substitutes must be given to the referee prior
to the start of the match. Any substitute whose name is not given to the
referee at this time may not take part in the match.
To replace a player with a substitute, the following conditions must be
observed:
• the referee must be informed before any proposed substitution is made
• the substitute only enters the field of play after the player being replaced
has left and after receiving a signal from the referee
• the substitute only enters the field of play at the halfway line and during a
stoppage in the match
• the substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play
• from that moment, the substitute becomes a player and the player he has
replaced becomes a substituted player
• the substituted player takes no further part in the match, except where
return substitutions are permitted
• all substitutes are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of the referee,
whether called upon to play or not
Changing the goalkeeper
Any of the other players may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that:
• the referee is informed before the change is made
• the change is made during a stoppage in the match
20 LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Infringements and sanctions
If a substitute or substituted player enters the field of play without the referee’s
permission:
• the referee stops play (although not immediately if the substitute or
substituted player does not interfere with play)
• the referee cautions him for unsporting behaviour and orders him to leave
the field of play
• if the referee has stopped play, it is restarted with an indirect free kick for
the opposing team from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If a named substitute enters the field of play instead of a named player at the
start of the match and the referee is not informed of this change:
• the referee allows the named substitute to continue the match
• no disciplinary sanction is taken against the named substitute
• the number of substitutions allowed by the offending team is not reduced
• the referee reports the incident to the appropriate authorities
If a player changes places with the goalkeeper without the referee’s permission
before the change is made:
• the referee allows play to continue
• the referee cautions the players concerned when the ball is next out of play
In the event of any other infringements of this Law:
• the players concerned are cautioned
• the match is restarted with an indirect free kick, to be taken by a player of
the opposing team from the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS 21
Players and substitutes sent off
A player who has been sent off before the kick-off may be replaced only by
one of the named substitutes.
A named substitute who has been sent off, either before the kick-off or after
play has started, may not be replaced.
22 LAW 4 – THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT
Safety
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to
himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery).
Basic equipment
The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate
items:
• a jersey or shirt with sleeves – if undergarments are worn, the colour of the
sleeve must be the same main colour as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt
• shorts – if undershorts or tights are worn, they must be of the same main
colour as the shorts
• stockings – if tape or similar material is applied externally it must be the
same colour as that part of the stocking it is applied to
• shinguards
• footwear
Shinguards
• are covered entirely by the stockings
• are made of rubber, plastic or a similar suitable material
• provide a reasonable degree of protection
Colours
• The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other
and also the referee and the assistant referees
• Each goalkeeper must wear colours that distinguish him from the other
players, the referee and the assistant referees
LAW 4 – THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT 23
Infringements and sanctions
In the event of any infringement of this Law:
• play need not be stopped
• the player at fault is instructed by the referee to leave the field of play to
correct his equipment
• the player leaves the field of play when the ball next ceases to be in play,
unless he has already corrected his equipment
• any player required to leave the field of play to correct his equipment
must not re-enter without the referee’s permission
• the referee checks that the player’s equipment is correct before allowing
him to re-enter the field of play
• the player is only allowed to re-enter the field of play when the ball is out
of play
A player who has been required to leave the field of play because of an
infringement of this Law and who re-enters the field of play without the
referee’s permission must be cautioned.
Restart of play
If play is stopped by the referee to administer a caution:
• the match is restarted by an indirect free kick taken by a player of the
opposing team from the place where the ball was located when the referee
stopped the match (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
24
Decisions of the International F.A. Board
Decision 1
Basic compulsory equipment
The basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or
personal slogans, statements or images.
The team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment has political, religious
or personal slogans or, statements or images will be sanctioned by the
competition organiser or by FIFA.
Undergarments
Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal
slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer
logo.
A player/team of a player that reveals an undergarment that shows political,
religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the
manufacturer logo will be sanctioned by the competition organiser or by FIFA.
LAW 4 – THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT
LAW 5 – THE REFEREE 25
The authority of the referee
Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the
Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been
appointed.
Powers and duties
The Referee:
• enforces the Laws of the Game
• controls the match in cooperation with the assistant referees and, where
applicable, with the fourth official
• ensures that any ball used meets the requirements of Law 2
• ensures that the players’ equipment meets the requirements of Law 4
• acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the match
• stops, suspends or abandons the match, at his discretion, for any
infringements of the Laws
• stops, suspends or abandons the match because of outside
interference of any kind
• stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures
that he is removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return
to the field of play after the match has restarted
• allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in his
opinion, only slightly injured
• ensures that any player bleeding from a wound leaves the field of play. The
player may only return on receiving a signal from the referee, who must be
satisfied that the bleeding has stopped
• allows play to continue when the team against which an offence has been
committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalises the original
offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time
• punishes the more serious offence when a player commits more than one
offence at the same time
• takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable
and sending-off offences. He is not obliged to take this action immediately
but must do so when the ball next goes out of play
26 LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
• takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a
responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of
play and its immediate surrounds
• acts on the advice of the assistant referees regarding incidents that he has
not seen
• ensures that no unauthorised persons enter the field of play
• indicates the restart of the match after it has been stopped
• provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes
information on any disciplinary action taken against players and/or team
officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the
match
Decisions of the referee
The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including
whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.
The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his
discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided
that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.
LAW 5 – THE REFEREE 27
Decisions of the International F.A. Board
Decision 1
A referee (or where applicable, an assistant referee or fourth official) is not held
liable for:
any kind of injury suffered by a player, official or spectator
any damage to property of any kind
any other loss suffered by any individual, club, company, association or
other body, which is due or which may be due to any decision that he may
take under the terms of the Laws of the Game or in respect of the normal
procedures required to hold, play and control a match.
Such decisions may include:
• a decision that the condition of the field of play or its surrounds or that the
weather conditions are such as to allow or not to allow a match to take
place
• a decision to abandon a match for whatever reason
• a decision as to the suitability of the field equipment and ball used during a
match
• a decision to stop or not to stop a match due to spectator interference or
any problem in spectator areas
• a decision to stop or not to stop play to allow an injured player to be
removed from the field of play for treatment
• a decision to require an injured player to be removed from the field of play
for treatment
• a decision to allow or not to allow a player to wear certain apparel or
equipment
• a decision (where he has the authority) to allow or not to allow any persons
(including team or stadium officials, security officers, photographers or
other media representatives) to be present in the vicinity of the field of play
• any other decision that he may take in accordance with the Laws of
the Game or in conformity with his duties under the terms of FIFA,
confederation, member association or league rules or regulations under
which the match is played
28 LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
Decision 2
In tournaments or competitions where a fourth official is appointed, his
role and duties must be in accordance with the guidelines approved by the
International F.A. Board, which are contained in this publication.
Decision 3
Where goal-line technology (GLT) is used (subject to the respective competition
rules), the referee has the duty to test the technology’s functionality before the
match. The tests to be performed are set out in the FIFA Quality Programme
for GLT Testing Manual. If the technology does not function in accordance with
the Testing Manual, the referee must not use the GLT system and must report
this incident to the respective authority.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES 29
Duties
Two assistant referees may be appointed whose duties, subject to the decision
of the referee, are to indicate:
• when the whole of the ball leaves the field of play
• which team is entitled to a corner kick, goal kick or throw-in
• when a player may be penalised for being in an offside position
• when a substitution is requested
• when misconduct or any other incident occurs out of the view of the
referee
• when offences have been committed whenever the assistant referees
have a better view than the referee (this includes, in certain circumstances,
offences committed in the penalty area)
• whether, at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper moves off the goal line before the
ball is kicked and if the ball crosses the line
Assistance
The assistant referees also assist the referee in controlling the match in
accordance with the Laws of the Game. In particular, they may enter the field
of play to help control the 9.15 m (10 yds) distance.
In the event of undue interference or improper conduct, the referee will
relieve an assistant referee of his duties and make a report to the appropriate
authorities.
30 LAW 7 – THE DURATION OF THE MATCH
Periods of play
The match lasts two equal periods of 45 minutes, unless otherwise mutually
agreed between the referee and the two teams. Any agreement to alter the
duration of the periods of play (e.g. to reduce each half to 40 minutes because
of insufficient light) must be made before the start of play and must comply
with competition rules.
Half-time interval
Players are entitled to an interval at half-time.
The half-time interval must not exceed 15 minutes.
Competition rules must state the duration of the half-time interval.
The duration of the half-time interval may be altered only with the consent of
the referee.
Allowance for time lost
Allowance is made in either period for all time lost through:
• substitutions
• assessment of injury to players
• removal of injured players from the field of play for treatment
• wasting time
• any other cause
The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee.
Penalty kick
If a penalty kick has to be taken or retaken, the duration of either half is
extended until the penalty kick is completed.
Abandoned match
An abandoned match is replayed unless the competition rules provide
otherwise.
LAW 8 – THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY 31
Definition of kick-off
A kick-off is a way of starting or restarting play:
• at the start of the match
• after a goal has been scored
• at the start of the second half of the match
• at the start of each period of extra time, where applicable
A goal may be scored directly from the kick-off.
Procedure
Before a kick-off at the start of the match or extra time
• a coin is tossed and the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will
attack in the first half of the match.
• the other team takes the kick-off to start the match.
• the team that wins the toss takes the kick-off to start the second half of the
match.
• in the second half of the match, the teams change ends and attack the
opposite goals.
Kick-off
• after a team scores a goal, the kick-off is taken by the other team.
• all players must be in their own half of the field of play
• the opponents of the team taking the kick-off are at least 9.15 m (10 yds)
from the ball until it is in play
• the ball must be stationary on the centre mark
• the referee gives a signal
• the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward
• the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player
32 LAW 8 – THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY
Infringements and sanctions
If the player taking the kick-off touches the ball again before it has touched
another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team to be taken from the
position of the ball when the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position
of free kick)
In the event of any other infringement of the kick-off procedure:
• the kick-off is retaken
Definition of dropped ball
A dropped ball is a method of restarting play when, while the ball is still in play,
the referee is required to stop play temporarily for any reason not mentioned
elsewhere in the Laws of the Game.
Procedure
The referee drops the ball at the place where it was located when play was
stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the
referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point
nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped.
Play restarts when the ball touches the ground.
33
Infringements and sanctions
The ball is dropped again:
• if it is touched by a player before it makes contact with the ground
• if the ball leaves the field of play after it makes contact with the ground,
without a player touching it
If the ball enters the goal:
• if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is
awarded
• if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick is
awarded to the opposing team
LAW 8 – THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY
34
Ball out of play
The ball is out of play when:
• it has wholly crossed the goal line or touch line whether on the ground or
in the air
• play has been stopped by the referee
Ball in play
The ball is in play at all other times, including when:
• it rebounds off a goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost and remains in the
field of play
• it rebounds off either the referee or an assistant referee when they are on
the field of play
LAW 9 – THE BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY
Ball in play
Ball out of play
Ball in play
Ball rebounding from
corner flagpost,
goalpost or crossbar into
field of play is in play
Ball in play
Ball in play
35
Goal scored
A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between
the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no infringement of the
Laws of the Game has been committed previously by the team scoring the
goal.
No goal
No goal
No goal
Goal
Winning team
The team scoring the greater number of goals during a match is the winner.
If both teams score an equal number of goals, or if no goals are scored, the
match is drawn.
Competition rules
When competition rules require there to be a winning team after a match
or home-and-away tie, the only permitted procedures for determining the
winning team are those approved by the International F.A. Board, namely:
• away goals rule
• extra time
• kicks from the penalty mark
Goal-line technology (GLT)
GLT systems may be used for the purpose of verifying whether a goal has been
scored to support the referee’s decision. The use of GLT must be stipulated in
the respective competition rules.
LAW 10 – THE METHOD OF SCORING
36
Offside position
It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position.
A player is in an offside position if:
• he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the
second-last opponent
A player is not in an offside position if:
• he is in his own half of the field of play or
• he is level with the second-last opponent or
• he is level with the last two opponents
Offence
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball
touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee,
involved in active play by:
• interfering with play or
• interfering with an opponent or
• gaining an advantage by being in that position
No offence
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
• a goal kick
• a throw-in
• a corner kick
Infringements and sanctions
In the event of an offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick
to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement
occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
37
Fouls and misconduct are penalised as follows:
Direct free kick
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any
of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be
careless, reckless or using excessive force:
• kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
• trips or attempts to trip an opponent
• jumps at an opponent
• charges an opponent
• strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
• pushes an opponent
• tackles an opponent
A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any
of the following three offences:
• holds an opponent
• spits at an opponent
• handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own
penalty area)
A direct free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick).
Penalty kick
A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above ten offences is committed by
a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball,
provided it is in play.
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
38
Indirect free kick
An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his
own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:
• controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing
it from his possession
• touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his
possession and before it has touched another player
• touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him
by a team-mate
• touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a
throw-in taken by a team-mate
An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of
the referee, a player:
• plays in a dangerous manner
• impedes the progress of an opponent
• prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
• commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which
play is stopped to caution or send off a player
The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick).
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
39
Disciplinary sanctions
The yellow card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted
player has been cautioned.
The red card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted
player has been sent off.
Only a player, substitute or substituted player may be shown the red or yellow
card.
The referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions from the moment
he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle.
A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offence, either on or off
the field of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a team-mate, the
referee, an assistant referee or any other person, is disciplined according to the
nature of the offence committed.
Cautionable offences
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the
following seven offences:
• unsporting behaviour
• dissent by word or action
• persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
• delaying the restart of play
• failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner
kick, free kick or throw-in
• entering or re-entering the field of play without the referee’s permission
• deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
40
A substitute or substituted player is cautioned if he commits any of the
following three offences:
• unsporting behaviour
• dissent by word or action
• delaying the restart of play
Sending-off offences
A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the
following seven offences:
• serious foul play
• violent conduct
• spitting at an opponent or any other person
• denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity
by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within
his own penalty area)
• denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving
towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a
penalty kick
• using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
• receiving a second caution in the same match
A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the
vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
41
Types of free kick
Free kicks are either direct or indirect.
The direct free kick
Ball enters the goal
• if a direct free kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal is
awarded
• if a direct free kick is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner kick
is awarded to the opposing team
The indirect free kick
Signal
The referee indicates an indirect free kick by raising his arm above his head. He
maintains his arm in that position until the kick has been taken and the ball has
touched another player or goes out of play.
Ball enters the goal
A goal can be scored only if the ball subsequently touches another player
before it enters the goal:
• if an indirect free kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick
is awarded
• if an indirect free kick is kicked directly into the team’s own goal, a corner
kick is awarded to the opposing team
Procedure
For both direct and indirect free kicks, the ball must be stationary when the
kick is taken and the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched
another player.
LAW 13 – FREE KICKS
42
Position of free kick
Free kick inside the penalty area
Direct or indirect free kick to the defending team:
• all opponents must be at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball
• all opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play
• the ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area
• a free kick awarded in the goal area may be taken from any point inside
that area
Indirect free kick to the attacking team:
• all opponents must be at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball until it is in
play, unless they are on their own goal line between the goalposts
• the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
• an indirect free kick awarded inside the goal area must be taken on the
goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the
infringement occurred
Free kick outside the penalty area
• all opponents must be at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball until it is in
play
• the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
• the free kick is taken from the place where the infringement occurred or
from the position of the ball when the infringement occurred (according to
the infringement)
LAW 13 – FREE KICKS
43
Infringements and sanctions
If, when a free kick is taken, an opponent is closer to the ball than the required
distance:
• the kick is retaken
If, when a free kick is taken by the defending team from inside its own penalty
area, the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area:
• the kick is retaken
Free kick taken by a player other than the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his
hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker deliberately handles the ball before it has
touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• a penalty kick is awarded if the infringement occurred inside the kicker’s
penalty area
LAW 13 – FREE KICKS
44
Free kick taken by the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper touches the ball again (except with
his hands), before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball before it
has touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred outside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred inside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
LAW 13 – FREE KICKS
45
A penalty kick is awarded against a team that commits one of the ten offences
for which a direct free kick is awarded, inside its own penalty area and while
the ball is in play.
A goal may be scored directly from a penalty kick.
Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half
or at the end of periods of extra time.
Position of the ball and the players
The ball:
• must be placed on the penalty mark
The player taking the penalty kick:
• must be properly identified
The defending goalkeeper:
• must remain on his goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts until
the ball has been kicked
The players other than the kicker must be located:
• inside the field of play
• outside the penalty area
• behind the penalty mark
• at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the penalty mark
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
46
Procedure
• After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the
referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken
• The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward
• He must not play the ball again until it has touched another player
• The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward
When a penalty kick is taken during the normal course of play, or time has
been extended at half-time or full time to allow a penalty kick to be taken or
retaken, a goal is awarded if, before passing between the goalposts and under
the crossbar:
• the ball touches either or both of the goalposts and/or the crossbar and/or
the goalkeeper
The referee decides when a penalty kick has been completed.
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
47
Infringements and sanctions
If the referee gives the signal for a penalty kick to be taken
and, before the ball is in play, one of the following occurs:
the player taking the penalty kick infringes the Laws of the Game:
• the referee allows the kick to be taken
• if the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken
• if the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and the match is
restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the place
where the infringement occurred
the goalkeeper infringes the Laws of the Game:
• the referee allows the kick to be taken
• if the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded
• if the ball does not enter the goal, the kick is retaken
a team-mate of the player taking the kick infringes the Laws of the Game:
• the referee allows the kick to be taken
• if the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken
• if the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and the match is
restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the place
where the infringement occurred
a team-mate of the goalkeeper infringes the Laws of the Game:
• the referee allows the kick to be taken
• if the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded
• if the ball does not enter the goal, the kick is retaken
a player of both the defending team and the attacking team infringe the Laws
of the Game:
• the kick is retaken
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
48
If, after the penalty kick has been taken:
the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched
another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, the kick to be taken
from the place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of
Free Kick)
the kicker deliberately handles the ball before it has touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
the ball is touched by an outside agent as it moves forward:
• the kick is retaken
the ball rebounds into the field of play from the goalkeeper, the crossbar or the
goalposts and is then touched by an outside agent:
• the referee stops play
• play is restarted with a dropped ball at the place where it touched the
outside agent, unless it touched the outside agent inside the goal area, in
which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the
goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was
stopped
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
49
A throw-in is a method of restarting play.
A throw-in is awarded to the opponents of the player who last touched the ball
when the whole of the ball crosses the touch line, either on the ground or in
the air.
A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
Procedure
At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:
• faces the field of play
• has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground outside the
touch line
• holds the ball with both hands
• delivers the ball from behind and over his head
• delivers the ball from the point where it left the field of play
All opponents must stand no less than 2 m (2 yds) from the point at which the
throw-in is taken.
The ball is in play when it enters the field of play.
After delivering the ball, the thrower must not touch the ball again until it has
touched another player.
LAW 15 – THE THROW-IN
50
Infringements and sanctions
Throw-in taken by a player other than the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the thrower touches the ball again (except with his
hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the thrower deliberately handles the ball before it has
touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• a penalty kick is awarded if the infringement occurred inside the thrower’s
penalty area
Throw-in taken by the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper touches the ball again (except with
his hands), before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball before it
has touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred outside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred inside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If an opponent unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower:
• he is cautioned for unsporting behaviour
For any other infringement of this Law:
• the throw-in is taken by a player of the opposing team
LAW 15 – THE THROW-IN
51
A goal kick is a method of restarting play.
A goal kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line,
either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the attacking
team, and a goal is not scored in accordance with Law 10.
A goal may be scored directly from a goal kick, but only against the opposing
team.
Procedure
• The ball is kicked from any point within the goal area by a player of the
defending team
• Opponents remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play
• The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player
• The ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area
Infringements and sanctions
If the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area from a goal kick:
• the kick is retaken
Goal kick taken by a player other than the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his
hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
LAW 16 – THE GOAL KICK
52
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker deliberately handles the ball before it has
touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• a penalty kick is awarded if the infringement occurred inside the kicker’s
penalty area
Goal kick taken by the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper touches the ball again (except with
his hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball before it
has touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred outside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred inside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
In the event of any other infringement of this Law:
• the kick is retaken
LAW 16 – THE GOAL KICK
53
A corner kick is a method of restarting play.
A corner kick is awarded when the whole of the ball passes over the goal
line, either on the ground or in the air, having last touched a player of the
defending team, and a goal is not scored in accordance with Law 10.
A goal may be scored directly from a corner kick, but only against the opposing
team.
Procedure
• The ball must be placed inside the corner arc nearest to the point where
the ball crossed the goal line
• The corner flagpost must not be moved
• Opponents must remain at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the corner arc until
the ball is in play
• The ball must be kicked by a player of the attacking team
• The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves
• The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player
Infringements and sanctions
Corner kick taken by a player other than the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his
hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker deliberately handles the ball before it has
touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• a penalty kick is awarded if the infringement occurred inside the kicker’s
penalty area
LAW 17 – THE CORNER KICK
54
Corner kick taken by the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper touches the ball again (except with
his hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, to be taken from the
place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
If, after the ball is in play, the goalkeeper deliberately handles the ball before it
has touched another player:
• a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred outside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if the infringement
occurred inside the goalkeeper’s penalty area, to be taken from the place
where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
In the event of any other infringement:
• the kick is retaken
LAW 17 – THE CORNER KICK
55
Away goals, extra time and kicks from the penalty mark are the three methods
approved for determining the winning team where competition rules require
there to be a winning team after a match has been drawn.
Away goals
Competition rules may provide that where teams play each other home and
away, if the aggregate score is equal after the second match, any goals scored
at the ground of the opposing team will count double.
Extra time
Competition rules may provide for two further equal periods, not exceeding 15
minutes each, to be played. The conditions of Law 8 will apply.
Kicks from the penalty mark
Procedure
• The referee chooses the goal at which the kicks will be taken
• The referee tosses a coin and the team whose captain wins the toss
decides whether to take the first or the second kick
• The referee keeps a record of the kicks being taken
• Subject to the conditions explained below, both teams take five kicks
• The kicks are taken alternately by the teams
• If, before both teams have taken five kicks, one has scored more goals
than the other could score, even if it were to complete its five kicks, no
more kicks are taken
• If, after both teams have taken five kicks, both have scored the same
number of goals, or have not scored any goals, kicks continue to be taken
in the same order until one team has scored a goal more than the other
from the same number of kicks
• A goalkeeper who is injured while kicks are being taken from the penalty
mark and is unable to continue as goalkeeper may be replaced by a
named substitute provided his team has not used the maximum number
of substitutes permitted under the competition rules
• With the exception of the foregoing case, only players who are on the
field of play at the end of the match, which includes extra time where
appropriate, are eligible to take kicks from the penalty mark
PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE THE WINNER OF A MATCH OR HOME-AND-AWAY
56 PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE THE WINNER OF A MATCH OR HOME-AND-AWAY
• Each kick is taken by a different player and all eligible players must take a
kick before any player can take a second kick
• An eligible player may change places with the goalkeeper at any time
when kicks from the penalty mark are being taken
• Only the eligible players and match officials are permitted to remain on
the field of play when kicks from the penalty mark are being taken
• All players, except the player taking the kick and the two goalkeepers,
must remain within the centre circle
• The goalkeeper who is the team-mate of the kicker must remain on the
field of play, outside the penalty area in which the kicks are being taken,
on the goal line where it meets the penalty area boundary line
• Unless otherwise stated, the relevant Laws of the Game and International
F.A. Board Decisions apply when kicks from the penalty mark are being
taken
TAKING KICKS FROM THE PENALTY MARK
Goalkeeper of
kicker’s team
Assistant referee
Kicker
Referee
No officials,
coaches, etc.,
allowed on field
of play
Assistant referee
All other
players within
centre circle
57
• If at the end of the match and before the kicks start to be taken from
the penalty mark, one team has a greater number of players than
its opponents, it must reduce its numbers to equate with that of its
opponents and the team captain must inform the referee of the name
and number of each player excluded. Any player thus excluded may not
participate in kicks from the penalty mark.
• Before the start of kicks from the penalty mark, the referee must ensure
that an equal number of players from each team remains within the
centre circle and they shall take the kicks
PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE THE WINNER OF A MATCH OR HOME-AND-AWAY
58
The technical area relates to matches played in stadiums with a designated
seated area for technical staff and substitutes as described below.
While the size and position of technical areas may differ between stadiums, the
following notes are issued for general guidance:
• the technical area extends 1 m (1 yd) on either side of the designated
seated area and extends forward up to a distance of 1 m (1 yd) from the
touch line
• it is recommended that markings are used to define this area
• the number of persons permitted to occupy the technical area is defined by
the competition rules
• the occupants of the technical area are identified before the beginning of
the match in accordance with the competition rules
• only one person at a time is authorised to convey tactical instructions from
the technical area
• the coach and other officials must remain within its confines except in
special circumstances, e.g. a physiotherapist or doctor entering the field of
play, with the referee’s permission, to assess an injured player
• the coach and other occupants of the technical area must behave in a
responsible manner
THE TECHNICAL AREA
THE FOURTH OFFICIAL AND THE RESERVE ASSISTANT REFEREE 59
• A fourth official may be appointed under the competition rules and
officiates if any of the three match officials is unable to continue, unless a
reserve assistant referee is appointed. He assists the referee at all times
• Prior to the start of the competition, the organiser states clearly whether,
if the referee is unable to continue, the fourth official takes over as the
referee or whether the senior assistant referee takes over as referee with
the fourth official becoming an assistant referee
• The fourth official assists with any administrative duties before, during and
after the match, as required by the referee
• He is responsible for assisting with substitution procedures during the
match
• He has the authority to check the equipment of substitutes before they
enter the field of play. If their equipment does not comply with the Laws of
the Game, he informs the referee
• He supervises the replacement balls, where required. If the match ball has
to be replaced during a match, he provides another ball, on the instruction
of the referee, thus keeping the delay to a minimum
• He assists the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws
of the Game. The referee, however, retains the authority to decide on all
points connected with play.
• After the match, the fourth official must submit a report to the appropriate
authorities on any misconduct or other incident that occurred out of the
view of the referee and the assistant referees. The fourth official must
advise the referee and his assistants of any report being made
• He has the authority to inform the referee of irresponsible behaviour by any
occupant of the technical area
• A reserve assistant referee may also be appointed under competition rules.
His only duty shall be to replace an assistant referee who is unable to
continue or to replace the fourth official, as required
60 THE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANT REFEREE
Additional assistant referees may be appointed under the competition rules.
They must be active referees of the highest category available.
The competition rules must state the procedure to be followed when a referee
is unable to continue, and whether:
1. the fourth official takes over as the referee, or
2. the senior additional assistant referee takes over as the referee, with the
fourth official becoming an additional assistant referee
Duties
Where appointed, the additional assistant referees, subject to the decision of
the referee, are to indicate:
• when the whole of the ball leaves the field of play over the goal line
• which team is entitled to a corner kick or goal kick
• when misconduct or any other incident occurs out of the view of the
referee
• when offences have been committed whenever the additional assistant
referees have a better view than the referee, particularly inside the penalty
area
• whether, at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper moves off the goal line before the
ball is kicked and if the ball crosses the line
Assistance
The additional assistant referees also help the referee to control the match in
accordance with the Laws of the Game but the final decision will always be
taken by the referee.
In the event of undue interference or improper conduct, the referee will
relieve an additional assistant referee of his duties and make a report to the
appropriate authorities.
Interpretation of the Laws of
the Game and Guidelines for Referees
62 LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY
Field markings
It is not permissible to mark the field of play with broken lines or furrows.
If a player makes unauthorised marks on the field of play with his foot, he
must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour. If the referee notices this being
done during the match, he must caution the offending player for unsporting
behaviour when the ball next goes out of play.
Only the lines indicated in Law 1 are to be marked on the field of play.
Where artificial surfaces are used, other lines are permitted provided that they
are of a different colour and clearly distinguishable from the lines used for
football.
Goals
If the crossbar becomes displaced or broken, play is stopped until it has been
repaired or replaced in position. If it is not possible to repair the crossbar,
the match must be abandoned. The use of a rope to replace the crossbar is
not permitted. If the crossbar can be repaired, the match is restarted with a
dropped ball from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play
was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on
the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball
was located when play was stopped.
LAW 1 – THE FIELD OF PLAY 63
Commercial advertising
Advertising on the ground shall be at least 1 m (1 yd) from the boundary lines
of the field of play.
Upright advertising shall be at least:
• 1 m (1 yd) from the touch lines of the field of play
• the same distance from the goal line as the depth of the goal net, and
• 1 m (1 yd) from the goal net
No form of commercial advertising, whether real or virtual, is permitted on the
field of play, on the ground within the area enclosed by the goal nets or the
technical area, or within 1 m (1 yd) of the touch line from the time the teams
enter the field of play until they have left it at half-time and from the time the
teams re-enter the field of play until the end of the match. Similarly, advertising
is not permitted on the goals, nets, flagposts or their flags and no extraneous
equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.) may be attached to these items.
Logos and emblems
The reproduction, whether real or virtual, of representative logos or emblems
of FIFA, confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs or other bodies
is forbidden on the field of play, the goal nets and the areas they enclose, the
goals, the flagposts and their flags during playing time.
64
Additional balls
Additional balls may be placed around the field of play for use during a match
provided that they meet the requirements of Law 2 and their use is under the
control of the referee.
LAW 2 – THE BALL
65
Substitution procedure
• A substitution may be made only during a stoppage in play
• The assistant referee signals that a substitution has been requested
• The player being substituted receives the referee’s permission to leave the
field of play, unless he is already off the field of play for reasons that comply
with the Laws of the Game
• The referee gives the substitute permission to enter the field of play
• Before entering the field of play, the substitute waits for the player he is
replacing to leave the field
• The player being substituted is not obliged to leave the field of play on the
halfway line
• Permission to proceed with a substitution may be refused under certain
circumstances, e.g. if the substitute is not ready to enter the field of play
• A substitute who has not completed the substitution procedure by setting
foot on to the field of play cannot restart play by taking a throw-in or
corner kick
• If a player who is about to be replaced refuses to leave the field of play,
play continues
• If a substitution is made during the half-time interval or before extra time,
the procedure is to be completed before the second half or extra time kicks
off
LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
66
Extra persons on the field of play
Outside agents
Anyone not indicated on the team list as a player, substitute or team official is
deemed to be an outside agent, as is a player who has been sent off.
If an outside agent enters the field of play:
• the referee must stop play (although not immediately if the outside agent
does not interfere with play)
• the referee must have him removed from the field of play and its immediate
surroundings
• if the referee stops the match, he must restart play with a dropped ball
from the position of the ball when the match was stopped, unless play was
stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on
the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the
ball was located when play was stopped
Team officials
The coach and other officials indicated on the team list (with the exception of
players or substitutes) are deemed to be team officials.
If a team official enters the field of play:
• the referee must stop play (although not immediately if the team official
does not interfere with play or if the advantage can be applied)
• the referee must have him removed from the field of play and if his
behaviour is irresponsible, the referee must expel him from the field of play
and its immediate surroundings
• if the referee stops the match, he must restart play with a dropped ball
from the position of the ball when the match was stopped, unless play was
stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on
the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the
ball was located when play was stopped
LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
67
Player outside the field of play
If, after leaving the field of play to correct unauthorised equipment or kit, to
be treated for an injury or bleeding, because he has blood on his kit or for any
other reason with the referee’s permission, a player re-enters the field of play
without the referee’s permission, the referee must:
• stop play (although not immediately if the player does not interfere with
play or if the advantage can be applied)
• caution the player for entering the field of play without permission
• order the player to leave the field of play if necessary (e.g. infringement of
Law 4)
If the referee stops play, it must be restarted:
• with an indirect free kick for the opposing team from the position of the
ball when play was stopped (see Law 13 – Position of free kick) if there is
no other infringement
• in accordance with Law 12 if the player infringes this Law
If a player accidentally crosses one of the boundary lines of the field of play, he
is not deemed to have committed an infringement. Going off the field of play
may be considered to be part of a playing movement.
Substitute or substituted player
If a substitute or a substituted player enters the field of play without
permission:
• the referee must stop play (although not immediately if the player in
question does not interfere with play or if the advantage can be applied)
• the referee must caution him for unsporting behaviour
• the player must leave the field of play
If the referee stops play, it must be restarted with an indirect free kick for the
opposing team from the position of the ball when play was stopped (see
Law 13 – Position of free kick).
LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
68
Goal scored with an extra person on the field of play
If, after a goal is scored, the referee realises, before play restarts, that there was
an extra person on the field of play when the goal was scored:
• the referee must disallow the goal if:
– the extra person was an outside agent and he interfered with play
– the extra person was a player, substitute, substituted player or team
official associated with the team that scored the goal
• the referee must allow the goal if:
– the extra person was an outside agent who did not interfere with play
– the extra person was a player, substitute, substituted player or team
official associated with the team that conceded the goal
Minimum number of players
If the rules of a competition state that all of the players and substitutes must be
named before kick-off and a team begins a match with fewer than 11 players,
only the players named in the starting line-up may complete the 11 upon their
arrival.
Although a match may not START if either team consists of fewer than seven
players, the minimum number of players in a team required for a match to
CONTINUE is left to the discretion of member associations. However, it is the
opinion of the International F.A. Board that a match should not continue if
there are fewer than seven players in either team.
If a team has fewer than seven players because one or more players has
deliberately left the field of play, the referee is not obliged to stop the match
and the advantage may be played. In such cases, the referee must not allow
the match to resume after the ball has gone out of play if a team does not
have the minimum number of seven players.
LAW 3 – THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS
69
Basic equipment
Colours:
If the jerseys of the two goalkeepers are the same colour and neither has
another jersey to change into, the referee allows play to begin
If a player loses his footwear accidentally and immediately plays the ball and/or
scores a goal, there is no infringement and the goal is awarded because he lost
his footwear by accident.
Goalkeepers may wear tracksuit bottoms as part of their basic equipment.
Other equipment
A player may use equipment other than the basic equipment provided that its
sole purpose is to protect him physically and it poses no danger to him or any
other player.
All items of clothing or equipment other than the basic equipment must be
inspected by the referee and determined not to be dangerous.
Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks and knee and
arm protectors made of soft, lightweight padded material are not considered
dangerous and are therefore permitted.
Where head covers are worn, they must
• be black or of the same main colour as the jersey (provided that the players
of the same team wear the same colour)
• be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
• not be attached to the jersey
• not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g.
opening/closing mechanism around neck)
• not have any part(s) extending out from the surface (protruding elements)
LAW 4 – THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT
70
In view of the new technology that has made sports spectacles much safer,
both for the wearer and for other players, referees should show tolerance
when authorising their use, particularly for younger players.
If an item of clothing or equipment that has been inspected at the start of a
match and determined not to be dangerous becomes dangerous or is used in a
dangerous manner during the match, its use must no longer be allowed.
The use of electronic communication systems between players and/or technical
staff is not permitted.
Where electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) are used (subject to
the agreement of the member association/competition organiser concerned):
• they must not pose any danger to the players and/or match officials
• information and data transmitted from the devices/systems is not permitted
to be received or used in the technical area during the match.
Jewellery
All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands,
rubber bands, etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to
cover jewellery is not acceptable.
Referees are also prohibited from wearing jewellery (except for a watch or
similar device for timing the match).
Disciplinary sanctions
The players are to be inspected before the match begins and substitutes before
they enter the field of play. If a player is discovered to be wearing unauthorised
clothing or jewellery during play, the referee must:
• inform the player that the item in question must be removed
• order the player to leave the field of play at the next stoppage if he is
unable or unwilling to comply
• caution the player if he wilfully refuses to comply or, having been told to
remove the item, is discovered to be wearing the item again
LAW 4 – THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT
LAW 4 – THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT 71
If play is stopped to caution the player, an indirect free kick must be awarded
to the opposing team from the position of the ball when play was stopped (see
Law 13 – Position of free kick).
72
Powers and duties
The referee is authorised to stop play if, in his opinion, the floodlights are
inadequate.
If an object thrown by a spectator hits the referee or one of the assistant referees
or a player or team official, the referee may allow the match to continue,
suspend play or abandon the match depending on the severity of the incident.
He must, in all cases, report the incident(s) to the appropriate authorities.
The referee has the power to show yellow or red cards during the half-time
interval and after the match has finished as well as during extra time and kicks
from the penalty mark, since the match remains under his jurisdiction at these
times.
If a referee is temporarily incapacitated for any reason, play may continue under
the supervision of the assistant referees until the ball next goes out of play.
If a spectator blows a whistle and the referee considers the whistle interfered
with play (e.g. a player picks up the ball with his hands, assuming that play
has been stopped), the referee must stop the match and restart the play with a
dropped ball from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play
was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on
the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball
was located when play was stopped.
If an extra ball, other object or animal enters the field of play during the match,
the referee must stop the match only if it interferes with play. Play must be
restarted by a dropped ball from the position of the match ball when play
was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the
referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point
nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped.
If an extra ball, other object or animal enters the field of play during the match
without interfering with play, the referee must have it removed at the earliest
possible opportunity.
LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
73
Advantage
The referee may play advantage whenever an infringement or offence occurs.
The referee should consider the following circumstances in deciding whether to
apply the advantage or stop play:
• the severity of the offence: if the infringement warrants an expulsion, the
referee must stop play and send off the player unless there is a subsequent
opportunity to score a goal
• the position where the offence was committed: the closer to the
opponent’s goal, the more effective it can be
• the chances of an immediate, promising attack
• the atmosphere of the match
The decision to penalise the original offence must be taken within a few
seconds.
If the offence warrants a caution, it must be issued at the next stoppage.
However, unless there is a clear advantage, it is recommended that the referee
stops play and cautions the player immediately. If the caution is NOT issued at
the next stoppage, it cannot be shown later.
LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
74
Injured players
The referee must adhere to the following procedure when dealing with injured
players:
• play is allowed to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in the
opinion of the referee, only slightly injured
• play is stopped if, in the opinion of the referee, a player is seriously injured
• after questioning the injured player, the referee may authorise one, or at
most two doctors, to enter the field of play to assess the injury and arrange
the player’s safe and swift removal from the field of play
• stretcher-bearers should only enter the field of play with a stretcher
following a signal from the referee
• the referee must ensure an injured player is safely removed from the field of
play
• a player is not allowed to receive treatment on the field of play
• any player bleeding from a wound must leave the field of play. He may not
return until the referee is satisfied that the bleeding has stopped. A player is
not permitted to wear clothing with blood on it
• as soon as the referee has authorised the doctors to enter the field of play,
the player must leave the field of play, either on a stretcher or on foot. If a
player does not comply, he must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour
• an injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has
restarted
• when the ball is in play, an injured player must re-enter the field of play
from the touch line. When the ball is out of play, the injured player may reenter
from any of the boundary lines
• irrespective of whether the ball is in play or not, only the referee is
authorised to allow an injured player to re-enter the field of play
• the referee may give permission for an injured player to return to the field
of play if an assistant referee or the fourth official verifies that the player is
ready
LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
75
• if play has not otherwise been stopped for another reason, or if an injury
suffered by a player is not the result of a breach of the Laws of the Game,
the referee must restart play with a dropped ball from the position of the
ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area,
in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the
goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was
stopped
• the referee must allow for the full amount of time lost through injury to be
played at the end of each period of play
• once the referee has decided to issue a card to a player who is injured and
has to leave the field of play for treatment, the referee must issue the card
before the player leaves the field of play
Exceptions to this ruling are to be made only when:
• a goalkeeper is injured
• a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need immediate
attention
• players from the same team have collided and need immediate attention
• a severe injury has occurred, e.g. swallowed tongue, concussion, broken leg
More than one offence occurring at the same time
• Offences committed by two players from the same team:
– the referee must punish the most serious offence when players commit
more than one offence at the same time
– play must be restarted according to the most serious offence committed
• Offences committed by players from different teams:
– the referee must stop play and restart it with a dropped ball from
the position of the ball at the time of the stoppage, unless play was
stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on
the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where
the ball was located when play was stopped
LAW 5 – THE REFEREE
76
Positioning with ball in play
Recommendations
• The play should be between the referee and the lead assistant referee
• The lead assistant referee should be within the referee’s field of vision. The
referee should use a wide diagonal system
• Staying towards the outside of the play makes it easier to keep play and the
lead assistant referee within the referee’s field of vision
• The referee should be close enough to see play without interfering with
play
• “What needs to be seen” is not always in the vicinity of the ball. The
referee should also pay attention to:
– aggressive individual player confrontations off the ball
– possible offences in the area towards which play is heading
– offences occurring after the ball is played away
Positioning in ball out of play situations
The best position is one from which the referee can make the right decision.
All recommendations about positioning are based on probabilities and must be
adjusted using specific information about the teams, the players and events in
the match up to that point.
The positions suggested in the following graphics are basic and recommended
to referees. The reference to a “zone” is intended to emphasise that every
recommended position is actually an area within which the referee is most
likely to optimise his effectiveness. The zone may be larger, smaller or
differently shaped depending on circumstances at the moment in question.
GUIDELINES FOR REFEREES
GUIDELINES FOR REFEREES 77
1. Positioning for the kick-off
2. Positioning for a goal kick
78
3. Positioning for a corner kick (1)
4. Positioning for a corner kick (2)
GUIDELINES FOR REFEREES
GUIDELINES FOR REFEREES 79
5. Positioning for a free kick (1)
6. Positioning for a free kick (2)
80
7. Positioning for a free kick (3)
8. Positioning for a free kick (4)
GUIDELINES FOR REFEREES
81
9. Positioning for a penalty kick
GUIDELINES FOR REFEREES
82
Red card
Direct free kick Advantage
Indirect free kick
Yellow card
REFEREE SIGNALS
83
Use of whistle
The whistle is needed to:
• start play (1st, 2nd half), after a goal
• stop play:
– for a free kick or penalty kick
– if the match is suspended or abandoned
– when a period of play has ended due to the expiration of time
• restart play for:
– free kicks when the appropriate distance is required
– penalty kicks
• restart play after it has been stopped due to:
– the issue of a yellow or red card for misconduct
– injury
– substitution
The whistle is NOT needed to:
• stop play for:
– a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in
– a goal
• restart play from:
– a free kick, goal kick, corner kick, throw-in
A whistle which is used too frequently unnecessarily will have less impact when
it is needed. When a discretionary whistle is needed to start play, the referee
should clearly announce to the players that the restart may not occur until after
that signal.
REFEREE SIGNALS
84
Body language
Body language is a tool that the referee uses to:
• help him control the match
• show authority and self-control
Body language is not:
• an explanation of a decision
REFEREE SIGNALS
THE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANT REFEREES 85
Duties and responsibilities
The additional assistant referees help the referee to control the match in
accordance with the Laws of the Game. They also assist the referee in all other
matters involving the running of the match at the request and direction of the
referee. This commonly includes such matters as:
• inspecting the field, the balls used and players’ equipment
• determining if problems with equipment or bleeding have been resolved
• maintaining back-up records of time, goals and misconduct
Positioning and teamwork
1. General positioning during the match
The additional assistant referees’ position is behind the goal line.
The additional assistant referees are not allowed to enter the field of play
unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Additional assistant referee nº 2
Assistant referee nº 1
Assistant referee nº 2
Referee
Additional assistant referee nº 1
86
2. Goal kick
The additional assistant referees must check if the ball is placed inside the goal
area. If the ball is not placed correctly, the additional assistant referee must
communicate this to the referee.
3. Penalty kick
The additional assistant referee must be positioned at the intersection of the
goal line and the goal area, and the assistant referee should take up a position
in line with the second-last defender.
4. Kicks from the penalty mark
The additional assistant referees must be positioned at each intersection of the
goal line and the goal area, to the right and left of the goal respectively.
The additional assistant referees are responsible for indicating to the referee
when the whole of the ball has passed over the goal line, between the
goalposts and under the crossbar.
5. “Goal – no goal” situations
The additional assistant referee must communicate to the referee when a goal
has been scored.
Signalling system for the additional assistant referees
The additional assistant referees will use a radio communication system only
and not flags to communicate decisions to the referee.
In the event of a breakdown of the radio communication system, the additional
assistant referees will use an electronic signal beep flagstick to indicate their
decisions.
As a general rule, the additional assistant referee must not give obvious hand
signals. However, in some instances, a discreet hand signal may give valuable
support to the referee. The hand signal should have a clear meaning. The
meaning should have been discussed and agreed upon in the pre-match
discussion.
THE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANT REFEREES
87
Duties and responsibilities
The assistant referees help the referee to control the match in accordance with
the Laws of the Game. They also assist the referee in all other matters involving
the running of the match at the request and direction of the referee. This
commonly includes such matters as:
• inspecting the field, the balls used and players’ equipment
• determining if problems with equipment or bleeding have been resolved
• monitoring the substitution procedure
• maintaining back-up records of time, goals and misconduct
Positioning and teamwork
1. Kick-off
The assistant referees must be in line with the second-last opponent.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
88
2. General positioning during the match
The assistant referees must be in line with the second-last opponent or the ball
if it is nearer the goal line than the second-last opponent. The assistant referees
must always face the field of play.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
89
3. Goal kick
1. The assistant referees must check first if the ball is inside the goal area:
• if the ball is not placed correctly, the assistant referee must not move
from his position, make eye contact with the referee and raise his flag
2. Once the ball is placed correctly inside the goal area, the assistant referee
must move to the edge of the penalty area to check that the ball leaves the
penalty area (ball in play) and that the attackers are outside:
• if the second-last opponent takes the goal kick, the assistant referee
must move directly to the edge of the penalty area
3. Finally, the assistant referee must take a position to check the offside line,
which is a priority in any case
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
90
4. Goalkeeper releasing the ball
The assistant referees must take a position in line with the edge of the penalty
area and check that the goalkeeper does not touch the ball with his hands
outside the penalty area.
Once the goalkeeper has released the ball, the assistant referees must take a
position to check the offside line, which is a priority in any case.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES 91
5. Penalty kick
The assistant referee must be positioned at the intersection of the goal line and
the penalty area. If the goalkeeper blatantly moves off the goal line before the
ball is kicked and a goal is not scored, the assistant referee must raise his flag.
92 LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
6. Kicks from the penalty mark
One assistant referee must be positioned at the intersection of the goal line
and the goal area. His main duty is to check if the ball crosses the line:
• when it is clear that the ball has crossed the goal line, the assistant referee
must make eye contact with the referee without giving any additional
signal
• when a goal has been scored but it is not clear whether the ball has crossed
the line, the assistant referee must first raise his flag to attract the referee’s
attention and then confirm the goal
The other assistant referee must be situated in the centre circle to control the
remaining players from both teams.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES 93
7. “Goal – no goal” situations
When a goal has been scored and there is no doubt about the decision, the
referee and assistant referee must make eye contact and the assistant referee
must then run quickly 25-30 metres along the touch line towards the halfway
line without raising his flag.
94 LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
When a goal has been scored but the ball appears still to be in play, the
assistant referee must first raise his flag to attract the referee’s attention then
continue with the normal goal procedure of running quickly 25-30 metres
along the touch line towards the halfway line.
On occasions when the whole of the ball does not cross the goal line and play
continues as normal because a goal has not been scored, the referee must
make eye contact with the assistant referee and if necessary give a discreet
hand signal.
95
8. Corner kick
The assistant referee’s position for a corner kick is behind the corner flag in
line with the goal line. In this position he must not interfere with the player
taking the corner kick. He must check that the ball is properly placed inside
the corner arc.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
96 LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES
9. Free kick
The assistant referee’s position for a free kick must be in line with the secondlast
opponent in order to check the offside line which is a priority in any case.
However, he must be ready to follow the ball by moving down the touch line
towards the corner flag if there is a direct shot on goal.
LAW 6 – THE ASSISTANT REFEREES 97
Gestures
As a general rule, the assistant referee must give no obvious hand signals.
However, in some instances, a discreet hand signal may give valuable support
to the referee. The hand signal should have a clear meaning. The meaning
should have been discussed and agreed upon in the pre-match discussion.
Running technique
As a general rule, the assistant referee should face the pitch whilst running.
Side-to-side movement should be used for short distances. This is especially
important when judging offside and gives the assistant referee a better line of
vision.
Signal beep
Referees are reminded that the signal beep system is an additional signal to be
used only when necessary in order to gain the attention of the referee.
Situations when the signal beep is useful include:
• offside
• fouls (outside the view of the referee)
• throw-in, corner kick or goal kick (tight decisions)
• goal situations (tight decisions)
98 ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
Substitution Throw-in
for attacker
Throw-in
for defender
Goal kick Corner kick
99
Offside Offside on the
near side of the field
Offside in the centre
of the field
Offside on
the far side of the field
Foul by defender Foul by attacker
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
100
Flag technique and team work
The assistant referee’s flag must always be visible to the referee, unfurled and
still whilst running.
When making a signal, the assistant referee must stop running, face the field
of play, make eye contact with the referee and raise the flag with deliberate
(not hasty or exaggerated) motions. The flag should be like an extension of the
arm.
The assistant referees must raise the flag using the hand that will also be used
for the next signal in a sequence. If circumstances change and the other hand
must be used for the next signal, the assistant referee should move his flag to
the opposite hand below the waist.
Whenever the assistant referee signals that the ball is out of play, he must
continue to signal until the referee acknowledges it.
Whenever the assistant referee signals for violent conduct and the signal is not
seen immediately:
• if play has been stopped for disciplinary action to be taken, the restart must
be in accordance with the Laws (free kick, penalty kick, etc.)
• if play has already restarted, the referee may still take disciplinary action but
not penalise the offence with a free kick or penalty kick
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
101
Throw-in
When the ball crosses the touch line near to the assistant referee’s position, he
must make a direct signal to indicate the direction of the throw-in.
When the ball crosses the touch line far from the assistant referee’s position
and the throw-in decision is an obvious one, the assistant referee must also
make a direct signal to indicate the direction of the throw-in.
When the ball crosses the touch line far from the assistant referee’s position
but the ball appears still to be in play or if the assistant referee is in any doubt,
the assistant referee must raise his flag to inform the referee that the ball is out
of play, make eye contact with the referee and follow the referee’s signal.
Corner kick / goal kick
When the ball crosses the goal line near to the assistant referee’s position, he
must make a direct signal with his right hand (better line of vision) to indicate
whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick.
When the ball crosses the goal line near to the assistant referee’s position but
the ball appears still to be in play, the assistant referee must first raise his flag
to inform the referee that the ball is out of play, then indicate whether it is a
goal kick or a corner kick.
When the ball crosses the goal line far from the assistant referee’s position, the
assistant referee must raise his flag to inform the referee that the ball is out of
play, make eye contact and follow the referee’s decision. The assistant referee
may also make a direct signal if the decision is an obvious one.
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
102
Offside
The first action the assistant referee makes after an offside decision is to raise
his flag. He then uses his flag to indicate the area of the pitch in which the
offence occurred.
If the flag is not immediately seen by the referee, the assistant referee must
keep signalling until it has been acknowledged or the ball is clearly in the
control of the defending team.
The flag must be raised using the right hand, giving the assistant referee a
better line of vision.
Substitution
When dealing with substitutions, the assistant referee must first be informed
by the fourth official. The assistant referee must then signal to the referee at
the next stoppage in the match. The assistant referee does not need to move
to the halfway line as the fourth official carries out the substitution procedure.
If there is no fourth official, the assistant referee must assist with substitution
procedures. In this case, the referee must wait until the assistant referee is back
in position before restarting play.
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
103
Fouls
The assistant referee must raise his flag when a foul or misconduct is
committed in his immediate vicinity or out of the referee’s vision. In all other
situations, he must wait and offer his opinion if it is required. If this is the
case, the assistant referee must report what he has seen and heard and which
players are involved to the referee.
Before signalling for an offence, the assistant referee must determine that:
• the offence was out of the view of the referee or the referee’s view was
obstructed
• the referee would not have applied the advantage if he had seen the
offence
When a foul or misconduct is committed, the assistant referee must:
• raise his flag with the same hand that will also be used for the remainder of
the signal- this gives the referee a clear indication as to who was fouled
• make eye contact with the referee
• give his flag a slight wave back and forth (avoiding any excessive or
aggressive movement)
• use the electronic beep signal, if necessary
The assistant referee must use the “wait and see technique” in order to allow
play to continue and not raise his flag when the team against which an offence
has been committed will benefit from the advantage. In this case, it is very
important for the assistant referee to make eye contact with the referee.
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
104
Fouls outside the penalty area
When a foul is committed outside the penalty area (near the boundary of the
penalty area), the assistant referee should make eye contact with the referee to
see where the referee is positioned and what action he has taken. The assistant
referee must stand in line with the penalty area and raise his flag if necessary.
In counter-attack situations, the assistant referee should be able to give
information such as whether or not a foul has been committed and whether a
foul was committed inside or outside the penalty area, which is a priority in any
case, and what disciplinary action must be taken.
Fouls inside the penalty area
When a foul is committed inside the penalty area out of the vision of the
referee, especially if near to the assistant referee’s position, the assistant
referee must first make eye contact with the referee to see where the referee
is positioned and what action he has taken. If the referee has not taken any
action, the assistant referee must raise his flag and use the electronic beep
signal and then visibly move down the touch line towards the corner flag.
Mass confrontation
In situations of mass confrontation, the nearest assistant referee may enter the
field of play to assist the referee. The other assistant referee must also observe
and record details of the incident.
Consultation
When dealing with disciplinary issues, eye contact and a basic discreet hand
signal from the assistant referee to the referee may be enough in some cases.
On occasions when direct consultation is required, the assistant referee may
advance 2-3 metres on to the field of play if necessary. When talking, the
referee and assistant referee shall both turn to face the pitch to avoid being
heard by others.
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS
ASSISTANT REFEREE SIGNALS 105
Required distance
When a free kick is awarded very close to the touch line near the assistant
referee’s position, the assistant referee may enter the field of play to help
ensure that the players are positioned 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball. In this
case, the referee must wait until the assistant referee is back in position before
restarting play.
106 LAW 7 – THE DURATION OF THE MATCH
Allowance for time lost
Many stoppages in play are entirely natural (e.g. throw-ins, goal kicks). An
allowance is to be made only when these delays are excessive.
The fourth official indicates the minimum additional time decided by the
referee at the end of the final minute of each period of play.
The announcement of the additional time does not indicate the exact amount
of time left in the match. The time may be increased if the referee considers it
appropriate but never reduced.
The referee must not compensate for a timekeeping error during the first half
by increasing or reducing the length of the second half.
107
Dropped ball
Any player may challenge for the ball (including the goalkeeper). There is no
minimum or maximum number of players required to contest a dropped ball.
The referee cannot decide who may or may not contest a dropped ball.
LAW 8 – THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY
108 LAW 9 – THE BALL IN AND OUT PLAY
The ball inside the field of play touches a person other than a player
If, when the ball is in play, it touches the referee or an assistant referee who
is temporarily on the field of play, play continues because the referee and the
assistant referees are part of the match.
109
No goal
If a referee signals a goal before the ball has passed wholly over the goal line
and immediately realises his error, play shall be restarted with a dropped ball
from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped
inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area
line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located
when play was stopped.
Goal-line technology (GLT)
Principles of GLT
• GLT applies solely to the goal line and only to determine whether a goal has
been scored
• The GLT system must be in accordance with the FIFA Quality Programme for
GLT
• The indication of whether a goal has been scored must be immediate and
automatically confirmed within one second
• The indication of whether a goal has been scored will be communicated
by the GLT system only to the match officials (via the referee’s watch, by
vibration and visual signal)
Requirements and specifications of GLT
If GLT is used in competition matches, the competition organisers must ensure
that the system meets the requirements set out in the FIFA Quality Programme
for GLT Testing Manual. This manual must be approved by the International
Football Association Board. An independent testing institute must verify the
accuracy and functionality of the different technology providers’ systems
according to the Testing Manual.
LAW 10 – THE METHOD OF SCORING
110 LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
Definitions
In the context of Law 11 – Offside, the following definitions apply:
• “nearer to his opponents’ goal line” means that any part of a player’s head,
body or feet is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the
second-last opponent. The arms are not included in this definition
• “interfering with play” means playing or touching the ball passed or
touched by a team-mate
• “interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from
playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s
line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball
• “gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball
i. that rebounds or is deflected to him off the goalpost, crossbar or an
opponent having been in an offside position
ii. that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save
by an opponent having been in an offside position
A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who
deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered
to have gained an advantage.
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE 111
Infringements
When an offside offence occurs, the referee awards an indirect free kick to be
taken from the position of the offending player when the ball was last played
to him by one of his team-mates.
Any defending player leaving the field of play for any reason without the
referee’s permission shall be considered to be on his own goal line or touch line
for the purposes of offside until the next stoppage in play. If the player leaves
the field of play deliberately, he must be cautioned when the ball is next out of
play.
It is not an offence in itself for a player who is in an offside position to step
off the field of play to show the referee that he is not involved in active play.
However, if the referee considers that he has left the field of play for tactical
reasons and has gained an unfair advantage by re-entering the field of play, the
player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour. The player needs to ask for
the referee’s permission to re-enter the field of play.
If an attacking player remains stationary between the goalposts and inside the
goal net as the ball enters the goal, a goal must be awarded. However, if the
attacking player distracts an opponent, the goal must be disallowed, the player
cautioned for unsporting behaviour and play restarted with a dropped ball
from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped
inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area
line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located
when play was stopped.
112 LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
1 Interfering with play
(A)
GK
2 Interfering with play
(A)
GK
Not offside offence
Offside offence
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
An attacker in an offside position (A), not interfering with an opponent,
touches the ball.
The assistant referee must raise the flag when the player touches the ball.
An attacker in an offside position (A), not interfering with an opponent,
does not touch the ball.
The player cannot be penalised because he did not touch the ball.
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE 113
3 Interfering with play
GK
(B)
(A)
4
(A)
Interfering with play
GK
Offside offence
Not offside offence
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
An attacker in an offside position (A) runs towards the ball and a team-mate
in an onside position (B) also runs towards the ball and plays it.
(A) cannot be penalised because he did not touch the ball.
A player in an offside position (A) may be penalised before playing or
touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an
onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.
114 LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
6 Interfering with an opponent
GK
(A)
5 Interfering with play
GK
(2)
(1)
Offside offence
Goal kick
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
An attacker in an offside position (1) runs towards the ball and does not
touch the ball.
The assistant referee must signal “goal kick”.
An attacker in an offside position (A) is obstructing the goalkeeper’s line of
vision. He must be penalised because he prevents an opponent from playing or
being able to play the ball.
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE 115
8 Interfering with an opponent
GK
(A)
(B)
7 Interfering with an opponent
GK
(A)
Not offside offence
Corner kick
Not offside offence
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
An attacker in an offside position (A) is not obstructing the goalkeeper’s line
of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball.
An attacker in an offside position (A) runs towards the ball but he does not
prevent the opponent from playing or being able to play the ball.
(A) is not challenging an opponent (B) for the ball.
116 LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
9 Interfering with an opponent
GK
(A)
(B)
10 Gaining advantage
GK
(B)
(A)
Offside offence
Offside offence
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
An attacker in an offside position (A) runs towards the ball preventing the
opponent (B) from playing or being able to play the ball by challenging the
opponent for the ball.
(A) is challenging an opponent (B) for the ball.
An attacker in an offside position (B) is penalised for playing or touching
the ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save
by the goalkeeper having been in an offside position when the ball was last
touched or is played by a team-mate.
117
12 Gaining advantage
GK
(C)
(A)
(B)
11 Gaining advantage
GK
(C)
(A)
(B)
Not offside offence
Offside offence
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
The shot by a team-mate (A) rebounds from the goalkeeper. (B) is in an onside
position and plays the ball.
(C) in an offside position is not penalised because he did not gain an
advantage from being in that position because he did not touch the ball.
An attacker in an offside position (B) is penalised for playing or touching
the ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save
by a player from the defending team (C) having been in an offside position
when the ball was last touched or is played by a team-mate.
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
118
14
Not offside offence
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
Gaining advantage
GK
(B2)
(A)
(B1)
(C)
13
Offside offence
Gaining advantage
GK
(B)
(A)
Goalkeeper
Defender
Attacker
Referee
Movement of
the ball
Movement of
the player
An attacker (C) is in an offside position, not interfering with an opponent,
when a team-mate (A) passes the ball to player (B1) in an onside position who
runs towards the opponents’ goal and passes the ball (B2) to team-mate (C).
Attacker (C) cannot be penalised because when the ball was passed to him, he
was in an onside position.
The shot by a team-mate (A) rebounds off or is deflected by an opponent
to attacker (B) who is penalised for playing or touching the ball having
previously been in an offside position.
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT 119
Basic requirements for a foul
The following conditions must be met for an offence to be considered a foul:
• it must be committed by a player
• it must occur on the field of play
• it must occur while the ball is in play
If the referee stops play due to an offence committed outside the field of play
(when the ball is in play), play must be restarted with a dropped ball from the
position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the
goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel
to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play
was stopped.
Careless, reckless, using excessive force
“Careless” means that the player has shown a lack of attention or
consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution.
• No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless
“Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the
danger to, or consequences for, his opponent.
• A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned
“Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary
use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
• A player who uses excessive force must be sent off
Charging an opponent
The act of charging is a challenge for space using physical contact within
playing distance of the ball without using arms or elbows.
It is an offence to charge an opponent:
• in a careless manner
• in a reckless manner
• using excessive force
120 LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Holding an opponent
Holding an opponent includes the act of preventing him from moving past or
around using the hands, the arms or the body.
Referees are reminded to make an early intervention and to deal firmly with
holding offences especially inside the penalty area at corner kicks and free
kicks.
To deal with these situations:
• the referee must warn any player holding an opponent before the ball is in
play
• caution the player if the holding continues before the ball is in play
• award a direct free kick or penalty kick and caution the player if it happens
once the ball is in play
If a defender starts holding an attacker outside the penalty area and continues
holding him inside the penalty area, the referee must award a penalty kick.
Disciplinary sanctions
• A caution for unsporting behaviour must be issued when a player holds
an opponent to prevent him gaining possession of the ball or taking up an
advantageous position
• A player must be sent off if he denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity
by holding an opponent
• No further disciplinary action must be taken in other situations of holding
an opponent
Restart of play
• Direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred (see Law 13
– Position of free kick) or a penalty kick if the offence occurred inside the
penalty area
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT 121
Handling the ball
Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with
the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into
consideration:
• the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
• the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
• the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an
infringement
• touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing, shinguard, etc.)
counts as an infringement
• hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shinguard, etc.) counts as an
infringement
Disciplinary sanctions
There are circumstances when a caution for unsporting behaviour is required
when a player deliberately handles the ball, e.g. when a player:
• deliberately handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession
• attempts to score a goal by deliberately handling the ball
A player is sent off, however, if he prevents a goal or an obvious goalscoring
opportunity by deliberately handling the ball. This punishment arises not from
the act of the player deliberately handling the ball but from the unacceptable
and unfair intervention that prevented a goal being scored.
Restart of play
• Direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred (see Law 13 –
Position of free kick) or penalty kick
Outside his own penalty area, the goalkeeper has the same restrictions
on handling the ball as any other player. Inside his own penalty area, the
goalkeeper cannot be guilty of a handling offence incurring a direct free kick
or any misconduct related to handling the ball. He can, however, be guilty of
several handling offences that incur an indirect free kick.
122 LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Offences committed by goalkeepers
A goalkeeper is not permitted to keep control of the ball in his hands for more
than six seconds. A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball:
• while the ball is between his hands or between his hand and any surface
(e.g. ground, own body)
• while holding the ball in his outstretched open hand
• while in the act of bouncing it on the ground or tossing it into the air
When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot
be challenged by an opponent.
A goalkeeper is not permitted to touch the ball with his hand inside his own
penalty area in the following circumstances:
• if he handles the ball again after it has been released from his possession
and has not touched any other player:
– the goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball by touching
it with any part of his hands or arms except if the ball rebounds
accidentally from him, e.g. after he has made a save
– possession of the ball includes the goalkeeper deliberately parrying the
ball
• if he touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to
him by a team-mate
• if he touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a
throw-in taken by a team-mate
Restart of play
• Indirect free kick from the position where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT 123
Offences committed against goalkeepers
• It is an offence for a player to prevent a goalkeeper from releasing the ball
from his hands
• A player must be penalised for playing in a dangerous manner if he kicks or
attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing
it
• It is an offence to restrict the movement of the goalkeeper by unfairly
impeding him, e.g. at the taking of a corner kick
Playing in a dangerous manner
Playing in a dangerous manner is defined as any action that, while
trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player
himself). It is committed with an opponent nearby and prevents the opponent
from playing the ball for fear of injury.
A scissors or bicycle kick is permissible provided that, in the opinion of the
referee, it is not dangerous to an opponent.
Playing in a dangerous manner involves no physical contact between the
players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable
with a direct free kick or penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the
referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also
been committed.
Disciplinary sanctions
• If a player plays in a dangerous manner in a “normal” challenge, the
referee should not take any disciplinary action. If the action is made with
obvious risk of injury, the referee should caution the player
• If a player denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity by playing in a
dangerous manner, the referee should send off the player
124 LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Restart of play
• Indirect free kick from the position where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
• If there is contact, a different offence has been committed, punishable by a
direct free kick or penalty kick.
Impeding the progress of an opponent
Impeding the progress of an opponent means moving into the path of the
opponent to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction by an
opponent when the ball is not within playing distance of either player.
All players have a right to their position on the field of play, being in the way of
an opponent is not the same as moving into the way of an opponent.
Shielding the ball is permitted. A player who places himself between an
opponent and the ball for tactical reasons has not committed an offence as
long as the ball is kept within playing distance and the player does not hold off
the opponent with his arms or body. If the ball is within playing distance, the
player may be fairly charged by an opponent.
Delaying the restart of play to issue a card
Once the referee has decided to issue a card, whether to caution or send off a
player, play must not be restarted until the sanction has been administered.
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT 125
Cautions for unsporting behaviour
There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for
unsporting behaviour, e.g. if a player:
• commits in a reckless manner one of the seven offences that incur a direct
free kick
• commits a foul for the tactical purpose of interfering with or breaking up a
promising attack
• holds an opponent for the tactical purpose of pulling the opponent away
from the ball or preventing the opponent from getting to the ball
• handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession or developing
an attack (other than the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
• handles the ball in an attempt to score a goal (irrespective of whether or
not the attempt is successful).
• attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have
been fouled (simulation)
• changes places with the goalkeeper during play or without the referee’s
permission
• acts in a manner which shows a lack of respect for the game
• plays the ball when he is walking off the field of play after being granted
permission to leave the field of play
• verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart
• makes unauthorised marks on the field of play
• uses a deliberate trick while the ball is in play to pass the ball to his own
goalkeeper with his head, chest, knee, etc. in order to circumvent the Law,
irrespective of whether the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands or
not. The offence is committed by the player in attempting to circumvent
both the letter and the spirit of Law 12 and play is restarted with an indirect
free kick
• uses a deliberate trick to pass the ball to his own goalkeeper to circumvent
the Law while he is taking a free kick (after the player is cautioned, the free
kick must be retaken)
126 LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Celebration of a goal
While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been
scored, the celebration must not be excessive.
Reasonable celebrations are allowed, but the practice of choreographed
celebrations is not to be encouraged when it results in excessive time-wasting
and referees are instructed to intervene in such cases.
A player must be cautioned if:
• in the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative,
derisory or inflammatory
• he climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored
• he removes his shirt or covers his head with his shirt
• he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item
Leaving the field of play to celebrate a goal is not a cautionable offence in itself
but it is essential that players return to the field of play as soon as possible.
Referees are expected to act in a preventative manner and to exercise common
sense in dealing with the celebration of a goal.
Showing dissent by word or action
A player who is guilty of dissent by protesting (verbally or non-verbally) against
a referee’s decision must be cautioned.
The captain of a team has no special status or privileges under the Laws of the
Game but he has a degree of responsibility for the behaviour of his team.
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT 127
Delaying the restart of play
Referees must caution players who delay the restart of play by tactics such as:
• taking a free kick from the wrong position with the sole intention of forcing
the referee to order a retake
• appearing to take a throw-in but suddenly leaving it to one of his teammates
to take
• kicking the ball away or carrying it away with the hands after the referee
has stopped play
• excessively delaying the taking of a throw-in or free kick
• delaying leaving the field of play when being substituted
• provoking a confrontation by deliberately touching the ball after the referee
has stopped play
Persistent infringement
Referees should be alert at all times to players who persistently infringe the
Laws. In particular, they must be aware that, even if a player commits a number
of different offences, he must still be cautioned for persistently infringing the
Laws.
There is no specific number of infringements which constitutes “persistence”
or the presence of a pattern – this is entirely a matter of judgement and must
be determined in the context of effective game management.
128 LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Serious foul play
A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality
against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
serious foul play.
Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the
front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force
and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless
there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.
A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is
restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or a penalty kick (if the offence occurred
inside the offender’s penalty area).
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT 129
Violent conduct
A player is guilty of violent conduct if he uses excessive force or brutality
against an opponent when not challenging for the ball.
He is also guilty of violent conduct if he uses excessive force or brutality against
a team-mate, spectator, match official or any other person.
Violent conduct may occur either on the field of play or outside its boundaries,
whether the ball is in play or not.
Advantage should not be applied in situations involving violent conduct unless
there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
off the player guilty of violent conduct when the ball is next out of play.
Referees are reminded that violent conduct often leads to mass confrontation,
therefore they must try to avert this with active intervention.
A player, substitute or substituted player who is guilty of violent conduct must
be sent off.
130 LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
Restart of play
• If the ball is out of play, play is restarted according to the previous decision
• If the ball is in play and the offence occurred outside the field of play:
– if the player is already off the field of play and commits the offence,
play is restarted with a dropped ball from the position of the ball when
play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in
which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to
the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when
play was stopped
– if the player leaves the field of play to commit the offence, play is
restarted with an indirect free kick from the position of the ball when
play was stopped (see Law 13 –Position of free kick)
• If the ball is in play and a player commits an offence inside the field of play:
– against an opponent, play is restarted with a direct free kick from the
position where the offence occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
or a penalty kick (if inside the offending player’s own penalty area)
– against a team-mate, play is restarted with an indirect free kick from
the position where the offence occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free
kick)
– against a substitute or substituted player, play is restarted with an
indirect free kick from the position of the ball when play was stopped
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
– against the referee or an assistant referee, play is restarted with an
indirect free kick from the position where the offence occurred
(see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
– against another person, play is restarted with a dropped ball from the
position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped
inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the
goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the
ball was located when play was stopped
131
Offences where an object (or the ball) is thrown
If while the ball is in play, a player, substitute or substituted player throws an
object at an opponent or other person in a reckless manner, the referee must
stop play and caution the player, substitute or substituted player.
If while the ball is in play, a player, substitute or substituted player throws an
object at an opponent or other person using excessive force, the referee must
stop play and send off the player, substitute or substituted player for violent
conduct.
Restart of play
• If a player standing inside his own penalty area throws an object at an
opponent standing outside the penalty area, the referee restarts play with a
direct free kick to the opponents’ team from the position where the object
struck or would have struck the opponent
• If a player standing outside his own penalty area throws an object at an
opponent standing inside the penalty area, the referee restarts play with a
penalty kick
• If a player standing inside the field of play throws an object at any person
standing outside the field of play, the referee restarts play with an indirect
free kick from the position of the ball when play was stopped (see Law 13 –
Position of free kick)
• If a player standing outside the field of play throws an object at an
opponent standing inside the field of play, the referee restarts play with a
direct free kick to the opponents’ team from the position where the object
struck or would have struck the opponent or with a penalty kick (if inside
the offending player’s own penalty area)
• If a substitute or substituted player standing outside the field of play throws
an object at an opponent standing inside the field of play, the referee
restarts play with an indirect free kick to the opposing team from the
position of the ball when play was stopped (see Law 13 – Position of free
kick)
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
132
Denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity
There are two sending-off offences that deal with denying an opponent an
obvious opportunity to score a goal. It is not necessary for the offence to occur
inside the penalty area.
If the referee applies advantage during an obvious goalscoring opportunity and
a goal is scored directly, despite the opponent’s handling the ball or fouling an
opponent, the player cannot be sent off but he may still be cautioned.
Referees should consider the following circumstances when deciding whether
to send off a player for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity:
• the distance between the offence and the goal
• the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
• the direction of the play
• the location and number of defenders
• the offence which denies an opponent an obvious goalscoring opportunity
may be an offence that incurs a direct free kick or an indirect free kick
LAW 12 – FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
133
Procedure
The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
A free kick can be taken by lifting the ball with a foot or both feet
simultaneously.
Feinting to take a free kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of
football. However, if in the opinion of the referee, the feinting is considered an
act of unsporting behaviour, the player must be cautioned.
If a player, while correctly taking a free kick, intentionally kicks the ball at an
opponent in order to play the ball again but neither in a careless nor a reckless
manner nor using excessive force, the referee must allow play to continue.
An indirect free kick must be retaken if the referee fails to raise his arm to
indicate that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal. The
initial indirect free kick is not nullified by the referee’s mistake.
Distance
If a player decides to take a free kick quickly and an opponent who is less
than 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball intercepts it, the referee must allow play to
continue.
If a player decides to take a free kick quickly and an opponent who is near the
ball deliberately prevents him taking the kick, the referee must caution the
player for delaying the restart of play.
If, when a free kick is taken by the defending team from inside its own penalty
area, one or more opponents remain inside the penalty area because the
defender decides to take the kick quickly and the opponents did not have time
to leave the penalty area, the referee must allow play to continue.
LAW 13 – FREE KICKS
134
Procedure
Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted
as part of football. However, feinting to kick the ball once the player has
completed his run-up is considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of
unsporting behaviour for which the player must be cautioned.
Preparing for the penalty kick
The referee must confirm the following requirements before the penalty kick is
taken:
• the kicker is identified
• the ball is properly placed on the penalty mark
• the goalkeeper is on the goal line between the goalposts and facing the
kicker
• the team-mates of the kicker and the goalkeeper are:
– outside the penalty area
– outside the penalty arc
– behind the ball
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
135
Infringements – after the whistle and before the ball is in play
Outcome of the kick
Infringement
for encroachment
Goal No goal
Attacking player Penalty is retaken Indirect free kick
Defending player Goal Penalty is retaken
Both Penalty is retaken Penalty is retaken
LAW 14 – THE PENALTY KICK
136
Procedures – infringements
Referees are reminded that opponents may be no closer than 2 m from the
point at which the throw-in is taken. Where necessary, the referee must warn
any player within this distance before the throw-in is taken and caution the
player if he subsequently fails to retreat to the correct distance. Play is restarted
with a throw-in.
If a player, while correctly taking a throw-in, intentionally throws the ball at an
opponent in order to play the ball again but neither in a careless nor a reckless
manner nor using excessive force, the referee must allow play to continue.
If the ball enters the opponents’ goal directly from a throw-in, the referee must
award a goal kick. If the ball enters the thrower’s own goal directly from a
throw-in, the referee must award a corner kick.
If the ball touches the ground before entering the field of play, the throw-in is
retaken by the same team from the same position provided that it was taken
in line with the correct procedure. If the throw-in is not taken in line with the
correct procedure, it is retaken by the opposing team.
LAW 15 – THE THROW-IN
137
Procedures – infringements
If a player who has taken a goal kick correctly deliberately plays the ball a
second time when the ball has left the penalty area before another player has
touched it, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team from the
position where the second touch occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).
However, if the player touches the ball with his hand, he must be penalised
with a direct free kick and a disciplinary sanction if required.
If an opponent enters the penalty area before the ball is in play and is fouled by
a defender, the goal kick is retaken and the defender may be cautioned or sent
off depending on the nature of the offence.
LAW 16 – THE GOAL KICK
138
Procedures – infringements
Referees are reminded that opponents must remain at least 9.15 m (10 yds)
from the corner arc until the ball is in play (the optional marks off the field
of play may be used for assistance). Where necessary, the referee must warn
any player within this distance before the corner kick is taken and caution the
player if he subsequently fails to retreat to the correct distance.
If the kicker touches the ball a second time before it has touched another
player, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team in the position
where the second touch occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).
If a player, while correctly taking a corner kick, intentionally kicks the ball at an
opponent in order to play the ball again but neither in a careless nor a reckless
manner nor using excessive force, the referee must allow play to continue.
The ball must be placed inside the corner arc and is in play when it is kicked,
therefore the ball does not need to leave the corner arc to be in play.
The diagram shows some correct and incorrect positions.
CORRECT
CORRECT
CORRECT
INCORRECT
LAW 17 – THE CORNER KICK
139
Kicks from the penalty mark
Procedure
• The kicks from the penalty mark are not part of the match
• The penalty area where the kicks from the penalty marks are taking place
may be changed only if the goal or the playing surface becomes unusable
• Once all eligible players have taken a kick from the penalty mark, the same
sequence does not have to be followed as in the first round of kicks
• Each team is responsible for selecting the players from those on the field of
play at the end of the match and the order in which they will take the kicks
• A player other than the goalkeeper who is injured may not be substituted
during the taking of kicks from the penalty mark
• If the goalkeeper is sent off during the taking of kicks from the penalty
mark, he must be replaced by a player who finished the match
• A player, substitute or substituted player may be cautioned or sent off
during the taking of kicks from the penalty mark
• The referee must not abandon the match if a team is reduced to fewer than
seven players during the taking of kicks from the penalty mark
• If a player is injured or sent off during the taking of kicks from the penalty
mark and the team has one player fewer, the referee should not reduce
the number of players taking kicks for the other team. An equal number of
players from each team is required only at the start of the taking of kicks
from the penalty mark
PROCEDURES TO DETERMINE THE WINNER OF A MATCH OR HOME-AND-AWAY
140
06.15 ZT 35‘000 SG/bru/hpf
 
Fédération Internationale de Football Association

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