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Donk stops attack by throwing extra ball

An interesting Laws of the Game question for you after an incident in the Turkish competition. A second ball entered the field of play, but did not influence play. The ball was picked up by Kasimpasa defender Ryan Donk. He held the ball in his hand and at the moment a Besiktas player entered the penalty area, he throw the ball from his hand towards the attacker, who couldn’t continue play then.

Check out the video en read below how a referee should restart play in this situation.

Does the referee have to stop play when a second ball enters the field? No, the LOTG say: “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.” In my opinion the extra ball did not interfere with play, because play went on normally. The ball was not close to the situation where the first ball was.

But what if a player throws a ball towards another player? Check out two paragraphs from Fifa’s Laws of the Game.

Play will restart with a direct free kick or penalty, but the explanation why depends on what the thrown ball touches first: the opponent or the ball.

Touching a player first:

“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.”

Touching the ball first:

“Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. (…) Hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shinguard, etc.) counts as an infringement.”

In this case Ryan Donk throws the ball on the “real” matchball, so explanation 2 is correct. He doesn’t throw the ball with excessive force, so the decision of the referee to give a yellow card is correct.

And how should play be restarted?

The restart of play should be a penalty kick. LOTG: “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.”

Dutch (sports) news website NOS says the referee did not start with a penalty kick, so that was a mistake from the referee.

Did you know how to handle in this situation?

But this wasn’t even the craziest situation during the match. Later on a fan entered the field. He got kicked by two players from Besiktas who got a red card for that. Read full story and check video about it on the Daily Mail website.


  • Ecar

    Minor detail: Donk didn’t throw the “excess” ball at the opponent – he threw it to the “real” ball in play… Would this be changing yr view of penalty kick?

    • jan (administrator)

      Hi Ecar, just added some info about throwing a ball towards the “real” ball. Decision keeps the same: also a penalty kick, but for handling the ball.

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