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UEFA Referee Development Programme 2012 Practical Information for Match Officials
Referees should be aware of their responsibility to protect players from unfair play by ensuring that any challenge involving excessive force (and therefore endangering the safety of an opponent) must be considered as serious foul play and result in a red card. Elbows/arms used deliberately as a weapon against an opponent are of course included in this category. However, when a player is making strong unfair contact with the opponent by using his elbow/arm as unfair “tool”, he should be cautioned for unsporting behaviour (reckless challenge). Illegal use of the arms prior to corner kicks / free kicks The illegal use of the arms, particularly prior to the taking of corner kicks and free kicks near goal, has become increasingly apparent. Referees should be pro-active prior to play re-starting at a corner kick or free kick and they should be clearly seen to take preventive action. Conflict can be avoided by taking early preventative action e.g. when players are jostling for positions in or near the penalty area. Players identified should be isolated and given a clear public warning.
Where possible, referees should use their assistants to ensure the ball does not enter the field of play until he gives a signal for the game to be re-started. It is essential that any similar misconduct after a referee’s initial preventive actions is dealt with firmly: • B efore the ball is in play it should result in either a yellow card or a red card depending upon the seriousness of the misconduct. • A fter the ball is in play referees must deal very firmly with continued holding, pushing etc. by awarding a free kick/penalty kick depending upon which team commits the offence. In appropriate cases, further disciplinary sanctions may also be necessary. Referee may of course take such firm action also without initial warning! Considerable improvement has been noticed recently and strict action has been taken. However, the referees are reminded to continue to take strict action against holding, pulling and pushing within the penalty area and to apply the recommended procedure!
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