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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33228

League Specific 4/9/2019

RE: Pro Professional

Pandea Radu-Mihnea of Munich, Germany asks...

What are the current rules when awarding an own goal.

For years a shot going on goal which was deflected by a defender was always considered a goal for the striker but in recent years many Governing Bodies have adopted a rule of awarding an own goal when the defender actively attempted to hit the ball and significantly changing the initial trajectory of the ball or awarding a goal when the shot was not going on target but the deflection of the defender was unintentional.

What are the current FIFA regulations regarding awarding goals and own goals?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Pandea,

The IFAB's Laws of the Game do not contain any provisions regarding who should be credited with a goal. So unless it is required by the competition organisers, the referee does not need to concern themselves with deciding who actually scored a goal.

I'm not sure which 'governing bodies' you are referring to but most leagues and competitions that I am familiar with still award the goal to the player who took the shot if it was initially on target, no matter whether a deflection by a defender was deliberate or significant. It is usually only when a shot was not going into the net and only ends up there because it came off a defender, that it is counted as an own goal, in the competitions I know of.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Pandea
Who scores a goal is only important in the context of leading goalscorer competitions, betting, fantasy soccer competitions etc. It is not part of the Laws nor covered by Associations.
So to assist in deciding on goal scorers in questionable circumstances, leagues have set up panels to make decisions on goalscorers where there is a doubt. In the English Premier League there is the Dubious Goals Panel
If you have a bet that Player X was to score, be the first scorer or whatever it is important in that context that an independent decision is made to eliminate any debate. Once the panels decides that is taken as the final decision.
If for exampme a player is in the running for the top scorer award in a league or competition it is important that if there is a doubt about the scorer that a decision is made by an independent body. Case in point is the Premier League. Harry Kane said that he last touched the ball in a goal against Stoke City last season and as there was doubt about the touch it was not awarded to him. Mo Salah won the top goalscorer award by two goals. If it was won by one the Stoke city goal awarded to Eriksen and not to Kane would have been important.
In the context of the Laws it makes no difference just the final score.

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