August 24, 2012

Clips & Tips: DOGSO outside the penalty area

The following video clip collection focuses on cases in the area of Denying an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO) outside the penalty area. Since the IFAB's revision of Law 12, the difference between DOGSO offences outside and inside the penalty area is crucial and can determine the disciplinary sanction.


The following wording applies:

"Where a player denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a deliberate handball offence the player is sent off wherever the offence occurs.

Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned unless:

• The offence is holding, pulling or pushing or
• The offending player does not attempt to play the ball or there is no possibility for the player making the challenge to play the ball or
• The offence is one which is punishable by a red card wherever it occurs on the field of play (e.g. serious foul play, violent conduct etc.)

In all the above circumstances the player is sent off.

The following must be considered:

• distance between the offence and the goal
• general direction of the play
• likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
• location and number of defenders"

What does this mean?

• Referees still have to identify whether an obvious goal-scoring opportunity was denied at all.

• Like before, they have to identify the exact position of the offence.

• From now on, the position of the offence does not only determine the match sanction (free-kick or penalty kick) though, but also the disciplinary sanction (yellow cards for DOGSO-offences inside the penalty area with the exceptions listed above; red cards for DOGSO-offences outside the penalty area). Special attention is needed.

• Therefore it is fundamentally important to first be sure where the offence took place and then, based on that, deciding on the disciplinary sanction. Doing that vice versa is impossible given the new LotG.

Referee instructors should focus on the following three aspects in future:

• Training referees in accurately identifying situations where an obvious goal-scoring opportunity
  was denied

• Sensitizing referees and particularly assistant referees for identifying the position of the offence

• Training them in judging whether the offence has been one that leads to a red card even if the
  offence has been inside the penalty area (see above)

These three goals are pursued in two posts that focus on DOGSO-offences outside and inside the penalty area separately. This decision-tree might help you to get a systematical overview on the considerations to make when judging DOGSO offences from 1st July 2016 on.


The following situations focus on offences outside the penalty area. For DOGSO cases inside the penalty area (and on the penalty area line), please have a look into this post.
The defender carelessly trips an opponent being the last man with no other defender able to intervene. He therefore clearly denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and should be sent off with a red card.

Referees should be careful to raise cards against players who are lying on the ground. However, sometimes (like here) a quickly communicated decision is expected from both the players and the audience.
The defender holds the attacker who is in full control of the ball and actually faces a dynamic 1v1 situation with the goalkeeper. He clearly denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and has to be sent off with a red card.
As the holding starts and ends outside the penalty area, a direct free-kick should be awarded. The match sanction (re-start of play) should be identified before issuing a disciplinary sanction in general. Here, however, this is irrelevant: As the offence is holding/pulling and denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, it must be punished with a red card outside and inside.

The defender trips his opponent who would be facing an obvious goal-scoring opportunity if he was not fouled. There is no other defender to intervene, so that a red card should be issued.

This video also highlights the importance of freezing the exact moment of the infringement in your inner eye to identify whether other defenders could have intervened.
The defender unfairly tackles his opponent with no other defender being able to intervene. As the attacker would very likely control the ball and face a 1v1 situation with the goalkeeper, this should be deemed as an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. A red card should be given.

Assistant referees should support the referee in judging whether another defender could have intervened.
The previous clip DOGSO-OUTSIDE-4 gives an example for offences that deny obvious goal-scoring opportunities despite a considerable distance to the goal. This clip does the same: Although the action takes place approximately 30 metres away from the goal, this should be assessed as DOGSO.

The referee not only takes the right decision, but also communicates it very quickly and thus diffuses every form of protest before it can develop.

This compilation shows two comparable situations.

6a: The defender clearly and blatantly pulls his opponent to the ground and denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The assistant can identify the punishable nature of this holding best and can provide accurate information.

6b: Unfortunately, here the referee does not take the appropriate decision and only cautions the defender. Although the action takes place several metres away from the goal, it is clear that there is no other defender who can fairly stop this obvious goal-scoring opportunity. A red card should be given with the aid of the assistant.

The defender holds and pulls his opponent and thus denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The referee at first plays an advantage as the attacker tries to reach the ball after the foul (team benefit situation).

After it is clear that the offence has clearly prevented the attacker from being able realize the advantage, he delays his whistle and correctly sends the defender off. The red card should be sorted out more quickly to avoid confusion and maintain authority.

The defender unfairly tackles his opponent who would be free in front of the goal if there was no foul. There is no other defender with a realistic chance to intervene. The goalkeeper is far away so that he has no chance to reach the ball earlier than the attacker so that the offence should be deemed as DOGSO.
If the referee has doubts (as he does not have the visual angle we have via TV) about whether it was really an obvious scoring opportunity, he should choose the safe option and only caution the defender. Generally, the referee well waits for eye-contact with the player and only then raises the card.

The defender holds her opponent being the last woman with no other defender able to intervene. If the referee deems the holding as a foul, she has to send the defender off with a red card.

Ideally the referee should also caution attacking player no. 15 who makes a blatant and unfair gesture demanding a card against her opponent. This should be deemed as unsporting behaviour.

This clip shows a clear case of denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity shortly before the penalty area.

It well illustrates the importance of deciding the match sanction before the disciplinary sanction. Since 1st July, this foul should be deemed as DOGSO worth of a yellow card only if it had been inside the penalty area. The referee first consults his assistant referee and gets the information "Outside!". Only based on that he is able to decide whether a yellow or a red card should be issued. More on that here.

There are lots of arguments for both deeming this action of the defender as stopping a promising attack or as denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Most of them are listed here.

UEFA agrees that there is no clear black-or-white-solution. Always keep in mind that a goal-scoring opportunity must be clearly (!) obvious (!) to sanction fouls preventing them with red cards. In doubt, better choose a yellow card.

In this situation, the defender is the last man and the attacker is facing the goalkeeper in a 1v1-situation. But does the attacker fully control the ball? Can he reach the ball?

Both questions should be answered with NO. The direction, effet and speed of the ball clearly show that the attacker would most likely not reach the ball even if he was not fouled. Therefore, a direct free-kick should be given and the defender can be cautioned for stopping a promising attack - but not more.


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