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Question Number: 30582

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 7/7/2016

RE: Comp High School

Chris Thomas of Fairfield, CA United States asks...

UEFA Semi-final: Germany v France kickoff second half -

Germany kicked the ball backward, directly to a teammate. It did not go forward. Is 'the ball must move forward' considered a trivial issue? Why was the errant kickoff allowed? Did the referee just miss it? Is this allowed in just this tournament?

Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Chris
The FIFA Laws of the Game have just undergone the most major rewrite since 1997. All the Laws with the exception of Law 2 have been changed. One Law that has been updated has been the start and restart of play which includes the kick off. The ball can now be kicked in any direction including backwards so the kick off was totally legal. As teams learn this it is becoming more frequent with many games now having a single player at the ball for the kick off as he can kick the ball directly backwards to a team mate rather than the traditional tap forward.
NFHS Rules has not changed in that respect so the ball must still be kicked forward at a kick off.

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