|Case Study #||13-2013|
|Date||30 Mar 2013|
|Competition||Barclays Premier League|
|Fixture/Result||Swansea 1 – 2 Spurs|
|Referee/Badge||Anthony Taylor, FIFA|
|At Issue||A quick restart on a free kick catches everyone napping|
Early in the second half of the match, Swansea midfielder Nathan Dyer (#12) was fouled by Spurs midfielder Naughton (#16) just outside the Spurs penalty area. While the Spurs defenders were milling around, preparing to assemble a wall, Swansea took the free kick quickly, playing in leading scorer Michu with an excellent scoring opportunity. Spurs keeper Brad Friedel was alert to the danger and came off his line to make a nice save.
Everyone on the field (except for the two involved in the kick and Friedel) were taken by surprise, as were the television producers, who had cut away for a replay of the foul. Referee Anthony Taylor appeared surprised, but then moved quickly to get a better view.
While attacking teams typically “want 10 yards” on free kicks from the edge of the penalty area, they are not required to to wait for the wall, and referees must be alert to the possibility that a quick restart will be taken. The following excerpt from section 13.4 of the “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game” provides helpful guidance for referees in these situations:
The referee should move quickly out of the way after indicating the approximate area of the restart and should do nothing to interfere with the kicking team’s right to an immediate free kick. At competitive levels of play, referees should not automatically “manage the wall,” but should allow the ball to be put back into play as quickly as possible, unless the kicking team requests help in dealing with opponents infringing on the minimum distance.