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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 30545

Law 13 - Free Kicks 6/26/2016

graeme ross of greenock, scotland asks...

This question is a follow up to question 30541

can you see anything wrong with this goal scored in 1976? Should it have been disallowed?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Graeme
maybe put It this way. Had the goal and others like it been disallowed the game would have been robbed of iconic moments in the game. I can tell you that under the current Laws of the Game that it would be allowed. It currently states that a free kick can be taken by lifting the ball with a foot or both feet simultaneously.
In 1970 the use of one foot as a dink up was legal although purists questioned if the ball moved as intended in the law with a kick. You will no doubt recall this goal in the attached video which was also allowed at the time although I believe that it was deemed illegal after that in 1971 as two feet were used rather than one. Use of the two foot lift was certainly illegal up until 1997 and the first reference I can find to its written legality was 2000. It has been legal since that date.
What they all point to is that unless the referees decision was an misapplication of the law the decision on the day stands. So in both the referees believed that the free kicks were taken in line with the law and awarded the goals. The decision could not be contested as the laws and advice was unclear Officialdom decided afterwards that the two footed one was not legal and informed referees officially not to allow those. That changed in the late 90s to what we have now.
As an aside I noted in my research for this that IFAB declined to support a motion in the early 70s to caution a goalkeeper for encroachment on a penalty kick. Finally made its way into the Laws some 46 years later!!

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Answer provided by Referee Gene Nagy


In the video Bradford City vs Southampton, I see all the requirements met in taking a free kick. The wall is set, the kicker waited for the whistle, a short kick was taken and another attacker put the ball in the net.
I suppose you are asking if the flip up kick was legal. Absolutely. It is simply a stylized kick but nonetheless a kick.

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