I do not understand something in the MLS Lessons Learned for Week 9 of 2008. It contains instructions on Second Cautionable Offenses and Persistent Infringement. Part of it says that the player who repeatedly fouls a single opponent will be cautioned for persistent infringement. It then goes on to say that when a team ‘s members engage in a series of fouls against a single opponent, one after another, the final player who is called for this offense is cautioned not for persistent infringement but for unsporting behavior, and that unsporting behavior is reported in the match report as the reason for the caution. That seems strange. What’s the deal here?
USSF answer (June 10, 2008):
The pertinent section in the memorandum (
Note: When a referee identifies a case of persistent infringement that falls under category 2 above (“Players who are repeated fouled”), the game report should list the caution as being issued for “unsporting behavior.” This should be the case as this is more of a philosophical approach to persistent infringement.
From this we learn that a player who personally persists in infringing the Law by fouling one or more opponents is cautioned for persistently infringing the Laws of the Game. However, the player who is the final person in a series of fouls against a single opposing player has committed only the single foul against this person and may not be cautioned for persistently infringing the Laws of the Game. Instead, that player is cautioned for unsporting behavior and that is how the caution is reported.