Advantage Rule

The official may allow play to continue when, after an offense, a team would maintain the “advantage” from the continuation of play; and penalizes the original offense if the anticipated advantage does not ensue within a reasonable period of time.

In soccer, the advantage rule gives the referee discretionary power to ignore an infraction of the LOTG if the enforcement of that rule (ie, stopping the flow of the play in action) would unfairly disadvantage a team in possession of the ball.

For example, a player on ‘Team A’ is making a run with the ball towards goal, and he is pushed violently by an opponent from ‘Team B’ - but maintains possession of the ball and a goal scoring opportunity. ‘Team A’ is said to have the advantage after the offense, so stopping the play now would unfairly disadvantage the attacker. Thus, play should be allowed to continue until the next stoppage, at which point the offending player may be verbally warned for his poor conduct, cautioned (with the yellow card) or sent off (with the red card) as appropriate.