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Question Number: 32266

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 3/1/2018

RE: Competitive Under 17

Dan S of Minneapolis , MN USA asks...

Watching the recent game between Tottenham Hotspurs and Rochdale- Tottenham were awarded a PK after VAR confirmed a trip started outside the PA but continued inside. The striker taking the PK stopped his run up and then took another 2 paces and scored. The referee consulted VAR- disallowed the goal, cautioned the striker and then gave Rochdale a IDFK from the penalty mark. I looked online for the rules on taking a PK. I didn't see anything under penalty kick law saying you couldn't stop. I did read that feinting during the run up was permitted but nothing about stop and starting. I remember playing years ago and hearing you couldn't stop once you start- but I didn't see it written anywhere. Aside from the fact that VAR was consulted - which I'm not sure why- Did I just miss this or could the referee have gotten this wrong?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Dan
First off VAR was used after the referee made the call to confirm his decision was correct. The referee in real time made his decision that the feinting was unsporting behaviour for which the player was cautioned and an IDFK awarded. I am at a loss to understand what VAR was used for there? I appreciate it is new and it seemed like the referee wanted to check every single decision in the game even ones that were not challenged.
Now some law interpretations in the game have developed under implicit knowledge. I was always of the opinion that stopping on the run up was not legal and that feinting was limited to stuttering, swerving etc but not a full stop on the run. While not stated explicitly in the laws it was accepted as the norm in this part of the world. In South America stopping became a particular problem, the so called Paradinha, that necessitated IFAB spelling out in the laws that stopping at the kick is illegal, a caution and an IDFK restart.
Historically the Law before the recent change stated that if in the opinion of the referee the feinting is considered an act of unsporting behaviour it was a caution. Now USB ITOOTR for many meant stopping and I suppose if one looks at the totality of the kick it was always one run and kick. I have been asked in the past on the stuttering run up as whether it was legal or not so that implicit knowledge was out there on stopping. I suppose old school referees saw the stopping as not giving the goalkeeper a fair chance of saving the shot. It was for that reason that players kept moving forward as in this example
If you look closely at Son he looks at the body movements of the GK and it is no surprise that he slots the ball in the opposite direction even though there is a pause by the GK. So in a way it was probably USB albeit not as written explicitly in the current Laws. Perhaps had the gK gone the correct way it might have been ignored.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

H Dan,
you are among the many who found this match difficult to watch.
I have no idea why the VAR was required to confirm a decision by the CR unless the CR felt he had interpreted what he saw wrong???
The LOTG state it is not illegal to feint at a PK but there is an unwritten part of forgotten law that does not like a complete stop, wait and restart again because it encourages so much encroachment of players trying to time their runs into the PA and for the keeper to know when to leave his line. Perhaps we need a better definition of what a feint is on a PK run up because I have seen similar run ups on free kicks get a pass?

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