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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 27804

Law 17 - Corner Kick 9/23/2013

RE: Recreational Under 12

Brian H of Seattle, Washington USA asks...

While setting up for a corner kick a player set the ball down in the corner arc, took a couple of steps back (not enough to give him a full run-up for the kick), then returned to the ball and tapped it with his foot to reposition it within the arc. He then stepped back to set up for the kick, ran up and kicked the ball, and play continued. It was obvious to me that he only intended to reposition the ball, and given the age and skill level I do not believe his intent was deception or delay of game.

Hypothetically, could the opposition have a case that the repositioning tap was a legal corner kick, and the actual kick was a second touch by the same player and therefore an IFK for the opposition? Would it be wise to advise players taking corner kicks that if they need to reposition the ball, to use their hands to do so?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
Repositioning the ball with the foot at a corner kick or free kick is allowed and it cannot be a double touch infringement. It should be ignored.
Ryan Giggs of Manchester United never uses his hand to position the ball and always uses his foot. From his body language it is clear that it is positioning of the ball and not putting it into play.
From your description of the corner kick that is all that it was, positioning of the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

US referees are advised by USSF (in the publication Advice to Referees):

'The referee must judge carefully whether any particular kick of the ball and subsequent movement was indeed reasonably taken with the intention of putting the ball into play rather than with the intention merely to position the ball for the restart.'

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