The quick restart after the foul: what does the ref’s manual say

By Walter Broeckx.  Additional material by Tony Attwood

When the referee in the Porto / Arsenal game allowed a quick free kick to be taken there were two reactions. Arsenal players, management and supporters were outraged. And the media, never one to miss an opportunity to knock Arsenal, said, “How many times did we see Henry do exactly the same?”

So what exactly does the referee’s manual say regarding the “Quick restart”.

I don’t know if it has anything to do with the Porto – Arsenal game but we recently got a reminder from our FA on what can and what can’t when teams want to take a quick free kick.

Here is the full piece, exactly as it appears…

“A quick restart can only be permitted when all the following criteria are fulfilled at the same time:

a) A quick restart means that the game is restarted immediately after it has been stopped.

b) The referee must have control over the situation

c) The free kick does not need management from the referee

d)  There is no tactic used by the team committing the original foul to slow down the restart

e)There is no disciplinary action needed

f) There is no treatment for an injured player required.”

Therefore if the referee has “to manage” the situation the possibility of a quickly taken free kick is not allowed. The players then have to wait for a signal before they can restart the game.

The rule also says, and here I place it in bold because it is so important…


These are not new rules – rather the re-statement of existing rules, sent out to referees in order to clarify a situation – a situation in which as we can now see, the referee got it utterly and totally wrong in the Porto game.

I think what is interesting here is that, as far as we know on the Untold Arsenal side of the fence, no newspaper or TV station actually went and checked the rules.  They had the usual collection of pundits gabbling away but they did not once think, “what exactly does the rule book say here?”

Instead they jumped straight in with false analogies between the Porto game and the quick free kicks Henry tried occasionally.

The key point here is not just what the rules actually say but that once everyone has given out their views and instant opinions, they all decide to let it drop.

Of course in one sense this does not matter.  Porto went out and Arsenal went through.

But if you take situations like this over and over again you find a constant attack on Arsenal’s reputation, and a constant feeling generated that Arsenal have double standards.   What the media don’t like doing is saying, “Is it the case that the referee is incompetent and should never have been employed to undertake a European game, or has he been bought?”


Injury details updated 16 April

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17 Replies to “The quick restart after the foul: what does the ref’s manual say”

  1. hahaha love it the collective idiots almost cost us… shame on them… I do not expect to see that fool of a ref in south africa

  2. Walter,

    I believe this is a very naive question.

    Is the same rule book applied universally in football all over the world? or are there variations of the rules in each league?

  3. Sepp Blatter has boasted several times that the strength of football is the universality of the rule book for the senior game.

  4. The quick restart by Porto was not even on the right spot!!! It was a few yards closer to the goal line which gave Porto a clear advantage.

  5. Yes Mihir, the rule book should be the same all over the world. Blatter even used this as an excuse to not allow the use of video evidence.

    And if you remember all those pundits blahblahblah and blaming Arsenal and their players for being naive, I can only say that the players of Arsenal know the rules and thus expected that the ref would aplly them and so they did not have to anticipate what Porto did and was allowed to do by an incompetent/bent (1) ref.
    (1)= make your choice.

  6. Stories all the time.When will you learn to accept defeat?This is something that took place weeks ago.Arsenal and excuses!!! God forbid!!!!

  7. One of your writers in “Block19er” said it is only six clubs that are better than Arsenal, but your stupid supporters who can’t be realistic said that is never true;they said its only 3 clubs that are better than Arsenal.This is one of the reason i hate Arsenal as a club because i hate impostors.

  8. The trophy to arrive standford bridge next week.Glory glory chelsea,glory glory chelsea,glory glory chelsea!!!!!!!

  9. As an Arsenal supporter I can’t see where you are going with this!It happened weeks ago and we quite comfortably won the tie, if this issue is still wrangling with you I suggest you make an appointment with your doctors to have your blood pressure checked as this is seriously not good for your health!
    In all the time I have been watching Arsenal I can recall 4 instances of a quick free kick involving Arsenal, v’s Aston Villa, Leeds, Chelsea and Porto, now 2 went for us and 2 against, and even with my rudimentary maths I make that a draw!
    The bottom line is we’ve come up slightly short again through various reasons, mainly in my opinion due to the number of injuries, maybe this is where you should be turning your attentions and trying to come up with reasons why we seem to have disproportionate amount of injuries compared to the other top sides.

  10. To all the guys flaming Walter here, if you don’t know his background, he’s a ref himself, and articles like these are bread and butter to him from what I’ve read in Untold since I chanced upon this site around the start of this season. Yes Porto lost on aggregate, and it happened weeks ago. But you’ve gotta put it in context too. The main point I believe this article is highlighting (correct me if I’m wrong Walter) is what Untold has brought up over and over again: that Arsenal is always on the shorter end of the stick when it comes the mainstream media and pundits alike. And yet, nobody in power does anything about it, as if they enjoy watching Arsenal suffer.
    Remember Chelsea and Ovrebo and how the English media supported Chelsea? Remember Eduardo’s witch-hunt and the same media also turning a blind eye to all Rooney/Gerrard dives? Not a word was mentioned in the mainstream media about Mike Dean’s influential man-of-the-match performance at Old Trafford for Man Utd this season against Arsenal too. What about the media always supporting the guy who succeeds in breaking an Arsenal player’s legs? (he’s a nice guy, he cried to his mummy, it wouldn’t have been a red-card offence if his leg didn’t break, Ramsey was inexperienced and planted his foot stupidly, all sound familiar don’t they?)More recently, the paedophile Wenger chants by Tottenham fans (and also performed by the Man Utd fans when Dean sent Wenger to the stands for kicking a bottle) and barely a word said about it in the media too. If I didn’t read the site, I wouldn’t know about the chants because I usually turn down the commentary which is highly biased anyway. Oh and Wenger can take almost all the bullsh*t that the media throws at him (distorting his quotes about Villa anyone?), but when Ferguson takes a tenth of that (stinking Germans), he gets to blow up at the same media without any consequence. And of course there’s the Porto incident covered in great detail in this article too, choosing to blast Wenger for being a hypocrite with Henry’s quick free kicks.
    I could go on and on and give many more examples of double standards if anyone wants me to (doubt there are any who want to, and those who know about it probably have read about it brought up here on Untold anyway)
    So back to the point. If you’re calling Walter an idiot for this being out of context, it is NOT. It’s a daily thing that Arsenal faces, and yet millions are blind to this double standard. Go on and tell me that I need an appointment with my doctors as well then, and they’ll tell me that I have good memory.
    Oh and by the way, great article! (sorry about the ~s, I’ve got a long post here and I’m trying to make my paragraphs more readable and distinguishable)

  11. Great article. I think that dignity and fair play are forgotten as soon as we are out of the title race. The funny thing about Arsenal fans is that when we get ridiculed week in week out by the media, refs, pundits, we always take pride that we can take all this, plus play as the fairest team in the league. (Our only red card was NOWHERE NEAR a red)

    The funny thing is that as soon as we are out of the title race 90% of these ‘fans’ forget that we’ve been the victims of countless bias from the refs, unsettling rumours from the press, is there a single player in our squad who wasn’t injured at some point? They also forget that we were predicted to be 5th or worse and we are in a very good position to take 2nd spot this year after all the extra challenges we had to face. Still they want to ‘sack Wenger’

    Lets take United who I am constantly reading were robbed of the title because of injuries to their back line. They had pretty much their best team playing almost half of their matches. We never once got to field a full team, most of the season we played without 3 or 4 starters. Sometimes more, sometimes less. So why then do the press get to go on about United’s injuries while we get told our squad is too thin? Are we not right there with United even with all the bias against us?

    Lastly how many points a season do you think bias gets you? How many penalties were we denied? How many fouls were committed against us that weren’t called? How many 50 50s got the other team a free kick? Why do we receive cards for fouls that get committed against us regularly, most of the time in the same game with no response. Then on top of this our own fans talk down our players, our coach, hell they’d just buy Mourinio to replace Wenger and all our problems will be solved! Wenger out any name they can think of in.
    Chelsea won the title this year because they had a team full of players at the end of their peak, for many of them this was their last opportunity to win something worthwhile. Next year is the beginning of the Arsenal era!

  12. Zack – There are only two flamers in response to Walter’s pose, with the notorious Austino defecating on these pages four separate times. Those of us who post at ACLF know him as a regular Spud troll who shows up usually after a setback to join the d & g brigade to attack, abuse and belittle Wenger and the usual suspects. One lesson from the our loss to the Tiny Tots is how the d&g element among Arsenal supporters are indistinguishable from Tottenham supporters who delight in belittling and trying to publicly tear down the main pillar of Arsenal’s recent success, Arsene Wenger.

  13. Zack you are right.
    I’m not bothered any more by the incident itself. Just as we got the instructions this week I remembered it and thought I would send it to Tony just to show that I (and most of Arsenal like Wenger and supporters) had it right. At that time the media did not support us, no they used it to ridiculise some of our players.
    So when I got the instructions I just thought on letting you know that whatever the media and the pundits are telling about the rules, when it comes up to the Arsenal they are biased and you better not believe them.
    For those who seem to be affraid for my health the doctor checked my blood pressure a few weeks ago and all was in order. 😉

  14. Digger – you wrote
    As an Arsenal supporter I can’t see where you are going with this!It happened weeks ago and we quite comfortably won the tie, if this issue is still wrangling with you I suggest you make an appointment with your doctors to have your blood pressure checked as this is seriously not good for your health!

    If I may explain – Untold is not only about today and tomorrow – it is about football, the history of football, and the future of football.

  15. @Austino
    c’mon guys, cheer up, defeat hurts but why hurt urself again and again, forget it. U can’t change clubs.

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