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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30256

Law 5 - The Referee 4/5/2016

RE: select Professional

Hussain Jan of Muscat, muscat Oman asks...

On a free kick the ball went to goal net and Gk punched the ball back. I was waiting for AR signal that did the ball crossed the line? but no signal from AR. Ball was in play, opposite team took the ball and made a foul so match stopped (it took about 30 seconds). Players moved towards AR to appeal. I sent them back and we both and fourth official discussed. AR said the ball touched the net but i was confused whether it came from inside or outside. If the ball came between the goal posts then it is goal because ball totally crossed the we decide that ball is goal. Opposite team denied that AR must decide in seconds otherwise this late decision is wrong. Can you explain?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Hussain
A late decision is simply that. Late. If play has not restarted then the referee can and should go back to the original decision.
In this case even if it was 20/30 seconds late as long as the decision was correct that is if the ball crossed the goal line then a goal is awarded.
Obviously it is poor mechanics by the AR yet it does not negate the fact that a goal was scored nor does time make it a wrong decision. It would only be *wrong* if the ball did not cross the goal line or that play had restarted.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Hussain,
The decision may not be wrong just poorly presented!
The selling aspect of the goal is complicated by the delay but it does not mean that the decision to award the goal is invalid. If as you indicated the ball completely crossed the goal line UNDER the crossbar and between the posts then if there was no infringement by the team scoring we have a good goal.
As long as no restart had occurred the goal is still available to be counted IF you are satisfied the requirements for a goal were in fact met?

This punch out and net touch seems rather vague to me, given how a net hang? Is the ball hitting the netting at the top of goal above the crossbar or the part stretching around the sides by the posts before it was punched out?? Why are you sure it went in? Could it have entered through a hole in the netting?

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