Referee awards IFK for a defender playing in a dangerous manner. Let’s say 23 yards from goal. Attacking team lines up for the kick and takes it quickly. Referee fails to give correct signal for IFK. Attacking teams kick ends up in net. Obviously you cannot award the goal. What is the correct restart for this situation?If I read ATR 13.9 (2006) correctly, it does not spell out what the restart after the referee fails to signal IFK is. It does spell out what happens if the referee signals IFK when it was clearly a DFK restart. You retake the DFK. FIFA Q&A 13.6 states to retake the IFK for failure to signal correctly. This situation is clearly a referee mistake and not one by either team. Which document (Q&A or ATR) is correct?

I remember being taught that the restart is retake the IFK but I cannot find supporting documentation from USSF only FIFA Q&A. Could you please help clear this up?

USSF answer (April 3, 2007):
Let’s look at it logically. What does Advice 13.9 say?

The failure of the referee either to give the correct signal for an indirect free kick or to hold it for the required period of time does not change the nature of the restart, nor does it alter the requirement for a subsequent touch of the ball for a goal to be scored.

What does the Q&A say?

6. An indirect free kick is awarded to the attacking team outside the opponents’ penalty area. The referee fails to raise his arm to indicate that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal. What action does the referee take?
“He has the free kick retaken because of the refereeƕs mistake. The initial indirect free kick, is not nullified by the referee’s mistake.”

The Q&A answer makes sense because the referee’s failure to give an IFK signal changes the dynamics of the play–the attacking team might have set up and executed the kick differently if it had known that it was an IFK instead of DFK (one presumes that the ball going directly into the net was a deliberate consequence of the team attempting successfully to achieve that result) and so the retake of the IFK restores the status ante quo. The same reasoning would apply if the referee gave an IFK signal for what should have been a DFK restart (e. g., among other consequences, it unfairly misleads the defenders into not defending against the possibility of a goal being scored directly).

There is no disconnect here and no problem. The correct solution is to have the kick retaken.

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