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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 32418

Law 18 - Common Sense 5/1/2018

RE: 3 Adult

Michael Kopp of Orange, NSW Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32390

My question is
A defender has passed the ball back deliberately to his keeper,the keeper goes to trap the ball with his feet,the ball hits his foot then rebounds and accidentally hits his hand which is out from his body,he then kicks the ball out of the goal box what is the ruling,I actually played on using the accidental hand ball law but after thinking about it I should have given a indirect do you agree

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Michael,
This is something that is not specifically covered in the Laws of the Game so I would say it is up to the referee to make a judgement call here. Given that hand and ball contact is one of the areas where the intent of the player is still to be considered and that the deliberate kick to the keeper also involves the matter of intent (although usually not for the keeper) I think I might be inclined to let a clearly unintentional contact to go unpunished in this situation.

However it would not be technically incorrect to call this as an offence. Your match, your decision, your reputation.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Michael,
given it was an accidental deflection and not say a swat to keep it out of the goal itself I see nothing wrong in allowing play to continue. You are well within the spirit of the game! The only consideration could be if an opponent was trying to challenge in pursuit and this handling prevented his opportunity.

Actually I suggested to the IFAB they remove the non use of the hands clause with ONLY if the keeper physically picks the ball up to grasp it & start his 6 seconds of uncontested possession is it an indfk, thus a one time knock punch or deflection would not matter. The original concept behind the 'passback' as it is universally misnamed, was not to stop the keepers use of hands but his ability to remove the ball from play by grabbing it so then the ball can not be challenged.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Michael
Reference is made in Law 5 to referees operating within the framework of the Laws of the Game and the *spirit of the game*. Referees are expected to use common sense and to apply the *spirit of the game* when applying the Laws of the Game,
So once the referee opines that as it is an unintentional, accidental contact on the hand common sense would suggest that it is not the offence of touching the ball with the hands after it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate.
Indeed it might have to be a good spot to see the contact in the first place. In the situation where the goalkeeper swipes the ball away with his hand or directs it favourably then a different matter entirely and that is an offence.
So yes in my opinion it could be akin to the way we deal with deliberate handling. Penalising a goalkeeper for an accidental, unintentional touch on the ball after it bounces up of of a foot was never the intention of the law. I always go back to the reason that the law was introduced in the first place which was to prevent goalkeepers withholding the ball from challenge by an opponent. The ball was not withheld from challenge here and the best decision was the one you made. Perhaps on another day the circumstances might present differently and an IDFK would be correct call.
Have a look at this video
The goalkeeper has used his arms and body to play the ball so the IDFK was entirely the correct decision. The GK seems to be protesting that the use of the hands did not happen or unintentional yet we can see that the arms did assist in playing the ball.

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