A DOGSO question that has been subject to some vigorous debate: “[O]ffence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick” in the context of DOGSO-F clearly includes both IFK and DFK offences listed in Law 12 (except for the goalkeeper IFK handling offences).

Does it also include “infringements” of Laws other than Law 12? For example, if a defender takes a free kick outside of the penalty area passes the ball back to where he thinks his goalkeeper is, but the goalkeeper is not there and the ball is rolling towards an empty net;

The defender realizes an attacker is charging towards the ball; just before the attacker reaches the ball to shoot it into the empty net, the defender taps the ball away with his foot. The second touch by the defender is an infringement of Law 13 resulting in an indirect free kick — can it also be DOGSO?

USSF answer (January 19, 2011):

Law 12 is clear on the matter. A player, [etc.], is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offenses:

• denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
//rest clipped//

And Law 13 tells us:

Free kick taken by a player other than the goalkeeper
If, after the ball is in play, the kicker touches the ball again (except with his hands) before it has touched another player:
• an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team, the kick to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred (see Law 13 – Position of Free Kick)

In the scenario you present, an offense punishable by a free kick, which may or may not have denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity (OGSO), has been committed by the defender. To be certain that the offense has denied the OGSO, the referee must apply the 4 Ds, as spelled out in the “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game”:

Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
In order for a player or substitute to be sent off for denying an “obvious goalscoring opportunity by an offense punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick” (number 5 under the seven send-off offenses), four elements must be present:
* Number of Defenders-not more than one defender between the foul and the goal, not counting the defender who committed the foul
* Distance to goal-the closer the foul is to the goal, the more likely it is an obvious goalscoring opportunity
* Distance to ball-the attacker must have been close enough to the ball at the time of the foul to continue playing the ball
* Direction of play-the attacker must have been moving toward the goal at the time the foul was committed
If any element is missing, there can be no send off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. Further, the presence of each of these elements must be “obvious” in order for the send-off to be appropriate under this provision of Law 12

Just to make it absolutely clear, and to put an end to any further debate: If, in the opinion of the referee, all four of the “Ds” are present, then an obvious goalscoring opportunity has been interfered with and the defender who has committed a second-touch violation should be sent off for DG-F. The real question is, why would he NOT be sent off? What he did was an offense, punishable by a free-kick restart, and all four Ds were determined to be present by the referee. All free kicks are created equal as far as DG-F is concerned.