case study

Advantage after reckless challenges

A new case study: advantage after reckless challenges. It’s a situation from the Rivier Derby between Dortmund and Schalke’04 earlier in 2020. Referee Deniz Aytekin gives the advantage after a reckless challenge and a goal is scored. But what do you do with the tackle? What is the correct disciplinary sanction? That’s what you’ll learn in this case study.

The match situation: advantage after reckless challenges

In the clip below you’ll find the match situation. It should start at 2m and 8 seconds. You’ll see that Salif Sané fouls Erling Håland on the midfield. Play continues, because referee Aytekin applies the advantage. All good there, but how do you deal with Sané’s foul? (see below clip)

Laws of the Game on this situation

The Laws of the Game are did change on advantage, but what about advantage after reckless tackles?

That’s what we’ll discuss here now.

Firstly we’ll start with when you should card a player if you apply advantage. “If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution/sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/ sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play.”

Secondly, we’ll look at the exceptions. IFAB has added something about that: “However, if the offence was denying the opposing team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour; if the offence was interfering with or stopping a promising attack, the player is not cautioned.”

Crucial difference: just SPA or SPA + reckless tackle

The last part is crucial: if the offence is stopping a promising attack. This means: the foul itself was not worth a yellow card. In this situation however, the offence is a reckless challenge (Sané stamps on the foot). The correct disciplinary action is a yellow card here.

FYI: that’s also what referee Deniz Aytekin decided, although you can’t see it in the clip.

Another case study with advantage

Another example: a yellow card for unsporting behaviour (shirt-pulling) in the build-up to an attack. Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande also applied the advantage and showed a yellow card later on. Check out this clip and explanation.


    • Jan ter Harmsel

      I do my best, Yeri, to always put some nice stories online. Always a pleasure to receive a positive reply from a reader. If you have any suggestions, just let me know.

  • Dave Wolgast

    In the “Another Case Study…” example between Juventus and Ajax, this would obviously be a case of interfering with a promising attack, which would be cautioned if play were stopped. But given that the referee chooses to invoke the advantage clause, what would now be the reason for coming back to give the caution? Would this holding offense be a cautioned in the absence of a promising attack? Would one consider it Unsporting Behavior without any sub-reason?

      • Micheal Mahan

        I’ve quizzed my Grassroots colleagues about this very issue recently, because I felt TLOTG were unclear on this scenario. Great articles and case studies here. However, what about…SPA + reckless foul but w/o Advantage? YC x2 = RC? Or, is it likely that you would not have SPA w/o also applying Advantage?

        • Jan ter Harmsel

          Hi Michael,
          You won’t show 2 yellow cards for the same foul. So you’d punish severity. It’s just one offence.

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