I am hoping that you can clarify an issue for me: Impeding the progress of an opponent is noted in Law 12 as a foul awarded an IFK. In the ‘Additional Instruction for Referees’ in the back of the Laws of the Game (p61 of the USSF 2006/2007 edition) under the heading of ‘Screening the Ball’ it is noted that a DFK is awarded if a player prevents an opponent from challenging for the ball by illegal use of the hands, arms, legs or body. I am confused what the distinction would be between a ‘impeding’ call (IFK) and the ‘illegal screening’ call (DFK). Can you help?
Answer (September 27, 2007):
There is no difference at all. “Illegal screening” and “impeding” are one and the same thing. are referring to a player who holds an opponent. Holding can be done with the arms, legs, or body.
Under normal circumstances, “impeding” means that there was no physical contact. When physical contact occurs, which is what the “Additional Instructions” meant when it referred to “illegal use of the hands, arms, legs or body,” the foul has been converted into “holding” and is punished with a direct free kick. The Additional Instructions of 2006/2007 are now outdated, by the way, by the 2007/2008 Laws of the Game.