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Whistle Stop: Kicking From Behind


White #9 has control of the ball. Red #7 approaches white #9 and kicks him from behind, stomping down on his calf, using excessive force. This is a foul, which becomes violent conduct instead of serious foul play, because red #7 was not challenging for the ball. 

Things that will help the referee evaluate this as a violent conduct include:

  • 0:09 - The ball is up in the air, in front of white #9, and red #7 is looking down and does not have a chance of getting to the ball.
  • 0:09 - Red #7's leg is stretched out and ends up knee-locked when contact is made.
  • 0:09/0:10 - Red #7's only effort is to stop white by kicking him.
  • 0:11 - Red #7 acknowledges to the referee that he had done wrong.
  • 0:11/0:13 - White #9's body language is projecting the pain.
Unfortunately, sometimes teenage players feel that they have to play tough and accept this type of incident without major complaint at first. Notice that even white team players did not react to the foul in a drastic manner. However, as the game goes on, players who have been victims of violent conduct that go unpunished will find an opportunity to retaliate in a similar or worse manner. 

Referees need to identify and properly manage violent conduct. In this case, the referee should stop play immediately, check on white #9 and allow the trainer/coach to provide assistance, show the red card to red #7, send him off for violent conduct, reassure the white team that he will control the game, and restart it with a direct free kick for the white team. 

(See pages 35 and 119 in the 2010-2011 AYSO FIFA Laws of the Game).