Player ‘A’ challenges for the ball from the front (or side) with a slide tackle of greater than average force. His opponent (‘B’) backs off the ball, essentially bailing out of the situation obviously in fear of the possible physical consequences of such a tackle. As a result, ‘A’ wins the ball cleanly, without touching player ‘B’.

IFK, DFK, card, or play on as there was no contact?

USSF answer (January 29, 2009):

It’s always hard to diagnose a situation from the comfort of our desks, but it would appear that player ‘A’ should, at a minimum, be cautioned for unsporting behavior for his reckless action. At most it would be a send-off for serious foul play. The restart would be a direct free kick for charging an opponent carelessly, recklessly, or with excessive force, as described in Law 12. The decision as to which of these levels of infringement had occurred would depend on the age and skill levels of the teams.

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