This question has come up three times in the last 5 weeks of our adult amateur soccer league play. Each time, there has been controversy over the re-start, so we are submitting this to the “experts” for final adjudication in writing.

Red Team player #1 is taking a throw-in in accordance with Law 15.

Blue Team player #2 decides to move to a position where he is standing in front of the thrower, clearly less than 2 yards away.

Before the Referee can warn Blue player #2 to move back, the ball is thrown in by Red player #1, and the Referee blows his whistle to caution Blue player #2 for Failure to Respect the 2 yard Distance on the throw-in.

In reading the new FIFA Laws of the Game (on page 125), we believe that play is restarted with a throw-in for the Red Team. This appeared to the correct restart and was the restart employed in each of the three games. This past weekend, two Assessors and an Instructor (along with many other referees) proclaimed that the correct restart should be an Indirect Free Kick. The logic given was that the ball had already crossed the plane of the Touch Line so it should be deemed to be “in play”.

It appears to me that the restart for this “Failure to Respect the Distance” violation should be treated the same as any other. If there were a “FRD” violation on a corner kick, we would re-take the corner kick. If there were a “FRD” violation on a direct free kick, we would re-take the direct free kick.

What is the correct restart for a “FRD” violation, for which a yellow card is shown, on a Throw-in?

USSF answer (April 28, 2009):
The correct restart in this case is a retake of the throw-in. The ball was not in play when the infringement occurred. The Advice to Referees makes it very clear that failure to withdraw the required distance on a throw-in (or a corner kick) is to be handled the same way as would be the case on a free kick.

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