Ensuring players stay their yards during a free kick is an age-old problem for the football referee. It hasn't gotten any easier. Photo: SCMP Pictures Ensuring players stay their yards during a free kick is an age-old problem for the football referee. It hasn't gotten any easier. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Ensuring players stay their yards during a free kick is an age-old problem for the football referee. It hasn't gotten any easier. Photo: SCMP Pictures
William Lai
Opinion

Opinion

The Rational Ref by William Lai

Referees can exercise discretion on free kick ball placement

Match officials can exercise discretion depending on whether the side taking the kick is attacking or defending

Ensuring players stay their yards during a free kick is an age-old problem for the football referee. It hasn't gotten any easier. Photo: SCMP Pictures Ensuring players stay their yards during a free kick is an age-old problem for the football referee. It hasn't gotten any easier. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Ensuring players stay their yards during a free kick is an age-old problem for the football referee. It hasn't gotten any easier. Photo: SCMP Pictures
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William Lai

William Lai

William Lai is a qualified soccer referee, instructor and assessor, and has also officiated in England and Australia. As an educator, scientist and social scientist, he is also interested in human behaviour which is why his column offers an alternative and rational commentary of what happens on and off the pitch.