Between the referee blowing their whistle for a foul and the FK being taken, there are numerous steps to take. For example,
– Is there an injury?
– Is there misconduct (i.e. cards)?
– Is there a sub ready?
In addition, the referee needs to quickly identify if the attacking team will take a quick free kick (QFK). If not, then the restart is ceremonial. With a ceremonial free kick, traditionally, the referee ensures that the ball is properly placed, the defenders are at least 10 yards away, etc.
Unfortuantely, from time to time, the referee fails to pay attention to the defenders and the FK-taker has to remind the referee that the wall is too close. As a good practice, we recommend that if the restart is clearly a ceremonial free kick where everything has stopped, the referee checks the wall before taking their restart position. In other words, it is far from ideal for the attacking team to remind the referee of the wall after the referee has moved away from the restart location and is waiting for the ball to be kicked.
Don’t rush. Having to go back to the ball and belatedly set the wall wastes more time than taking care of the wall earlier.