|Referees are reminded that deliberate handball is punishable with a
direct free kick or penalty if the offence is committed in the penalty
area. Under normal circumstances, deliberate handball should not
result in a caution or sending off.
|Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity
|A player will, however, be sent off if he intentionally prevents an obvious
goalscoring opportunity by using his hand. This punishment is not
for the deliberate handball, but rather for unacceptable and unsporting
behaviour that prevented a goal from being scored.
|Cautions for unsporting behaviour as a result of deliberate handball
There are circumstances when, in addition to a direct free kick being
awarded, a player must also be cautioned for unsporting behaviour
e.g. when a player:
deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent
attempts to score a goal by deliberately handling the ball
|Holding an opponent
|A common criticism levelled against referees is their inability to correctly
identify and punish the infringement of holding an opponent.
This inability to properly assess the action of holding a shirt or an
arm can lead to controversy; referees are therefore urged to intervene
immediately and fi rmly in these situations in accordance with
Generally speaking, a direct free kick or penalty kick is a suffi cient
punishment, but under certain circumstances an additional sanction
should be imposed. For example:
a player shall be cautioned for holding an opponent to prevent him
from reaching the ball or taking up an advantageous position
a player shall be sent off for preventing an obvious goalscoring
opportunity by holding an opponent
|When a team has committed fi ve accumulated fouls and then commits
an infringement that is punishable with a direct free kick or penalty,
the referees must award the direct free kick or penalty except where
there is a clear goalscoring opportunity.
However, if an offence is committed that is punishable by an indirect
free kick in accordance with Law 12, the referees must try to play
advantage to ensure that play fl ows, provided that this does not lead
to any retaliation and is not prejudicial to the team against which the
offence was committed.