In a recent travel game, team A was awarded a DFK, one of the players from team A positioned himself to take the kick, then after a short period of time another player came to take the direct free kick. He took his time, in all about 30 seconds ran off the clock before the kick was attempted. After a warning to speed things up, the referee blew his whistle and awarded the kick to the other team. The were no substitutions made which would have given cause for the delay.

Is there a time limit on taking DFK? If it was deemed a delay of the restart should the player have been cautioned?

Answer (October 15, 2007):
This would be one of those cases where referees invent their own rules, rather than following the Laws of the Game. The referee in this situation had no authority under the Laws of the Game to take away the free kick from the kicking team, no matter how long they delayed the restart. In this case, the referee can only caution a player (or players) for delaying the restart of play. Then, despite the delay(s), the restart must be in accordance with the reason the ball was out of play, in this case a direct free kick for the “injured” team. The referee will then add time as necessary to make up for the delay.

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