Last updated on 01 July 2014
Some assistant referees use a flag across the chest to signal a penalty kick (see right). This signal is not in the Laws of the Game and is not approved by FIFA, UEFA and is used by very few (if any) other FAs.
Use of the signal draws unnecessary attention to the assistant referee which can create dissent and management problems. It also potentially creates conflict if used at the same time as the referee is indicating/deciding not to award a penalty kick.
The FA Referees’ Committee (in consultation with PGMOL) has thus decided that this signal should no longer be used and the following procedure should be adopted.
When a foul is committed by a defending player near to or inside the penalty area, the assistant referee should first make eye contact with the referee to establish their position and actions. In situations where:
the actions of the assistant referee should be as follows:
If the foul is INSIDE the penalty area:
If the foul is OUTSIDE the penalty area:
IN or OUT??
Where a refereepenalises a defender near the boundary of the penalty area and seeks guidance from an assistant referee concerning the exact location of the offence, if in a credible position to assist, the assistant referee’s action should be as outlined above without the flag being raised.
There is no ‘special’ assistant referee flag signal for a penalty kick. When the foul is clearly inside the penalty area, if needed, the ‘normal’ indication for a foul should be followed by a clear physical movement to the goal line – the flag should not be placed across the chest. When the foul is outside the penalty area, if needed, the assistant referee should make a clear physical movement to a position level with the front edge of the penalty area.
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