Bolton v Arsenal 1.20.2010, around minute 34 if i recall…

Bolton foul at about 25 yards from their goal, and the ball ends up with Fabregas. Advantage is indicated by the referee: Fabregas dribbles twice and loses the ball.

The referee subsequently awards the free kick from the 25, as the advantage is not realized.

Or is it? After all, the offended team did maintain the possession and move the ball forward, however briefly.

It seems that once advantage is determined, the foul should be ignored unless it rose to the level of a caution (this one did not).

I am aware that in the penalty area, if an attacker is fouled but retains possession, often the penalty call is deferred until it is known if an effective shot on goal is achieved.

In this case, however, it seems that the defenders suffered double jeopardy.

Do you have advice as to how much opportunity, whether it be time of possession or effectiveness of attack, should be given the team/player who is fouled to realize advantage?

USSF answer (January 29, 2010):
The referee in this game followed established principles by invoking the advantage clause and then determining that the advantage had not accrued to Arsenal. His decision was correct. If, after observing a foul or misconduct by a player, the referee decides to apply advantage and within a second or so the player loses possession of the ball, the referee may still penalize the original offense.

It all pivots on the time lapse (which you didn’t define beyond “dribbles twice” and “however briefly”). It is important to note that even the International Board’s measure of time (“2-3 seconds”) is itself imprecise, so it all comes down to the opinion of the referee.

Some citations from the USSF publication “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game” (2009/2010) seem appropriate here (all from Advice 5.6):
One way to determine when to invoke the advantage is to apply the Four Ps: Possession, Potential, Personnel, and Proximity. Possession means active and credible control by the player who was fouled or a teammate. Potential means the likelihood of continuing an immediate and dangerous attack on the opponents’ goal. Potential is evaluated by judging the Personnel involved (the number and skills of the attackers relative to the number and skills of the defenders within 2-3 seconds of the offense) and Proximity (the distance to the opponents’ goal; the less the distance, the greater the potential).

In cases where the referee is applying the advantage clause, the advantage signal should be used to demonstrate that the game is being allowed to flow. Use of the advantage signal sends a visual message to the players/spectators that the referee saw the infraction, thereby mitigating potential negative feedback

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