Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 30163

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/1/2016

RE: Select Adult

Ahmed of Tampa, FL USA asks...

During a game between Chelsea and Norwich, Gary Cahill passed the ball back to his goalkeeper, Courtious. As he was passing it back to the keeper, it slightly deflected off the foot of the Norwich attacker. Courtious proceeded to stop the ball with his foot and then pick up the ball with his hands.

If in the opinion of the referee, Cahill was intentionally passing back the ball to his keeper, does Courtious' action constitute a violation of Law 12? Or does the fact that the ball touched an opposing player before he picked up the ball with his hand make it legal?

Law 12 doesn't seem to be very clear about that and when it comes to the offside rule, deflections off a defender doesn't make an attacker in an offside position not being able to be called offside. So does the same rule apply to this scenario?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ahmed ,
if an opponent manages a touch on the ball be it accidental or deliberate after a deliberate kick by the keeper's team mate to the keeper the handling restriction is lifted and he can pick the ball up.
Your concerns are not unfounded for the LOTG literal interpretation of the wording makes no reference to the ball directly going to the keeper except in the throw in. I recall a Scottish referee who got into a similar situation many years ago. He awarded the INDFK for a deliberate kick of the ball by a team mate to the keeper after the ball had bobbled over an opponent's outstretched leg on the way back to the keeper. Raised this same question and FIFA sorted it out that an opponent's touch makes the keeper's actions ok.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ahmed
The touch by an opponent changes the situation entirely. It is then no longer a deliberate kick by the defender so the restriction of the goalkeeper touching the ball with his hands is lifted.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 30163
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 30448

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

VAR (Video Assistant Referee) Questions?

Learn about VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.