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Question Number: 33446

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 6/14/2019

RE: Adult

John J. O'Hara of Berlin, NJ United States asks...

Per today's game between Jamaica and Italy. I can understand why a goalkeeper must keep a foot on the goal line but why does the person attempting a penalty kick get to stop and/ or stutter-step? Seems more than a bit unfair. I'd like your opinion.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,

as an opinion I prefer they run up and take the kick.

However the LOTG state on free kick of which a PK is one the player taking the kick can kind of hop skip jump as long as they are not coming to a full stop, backup or fake leg swing. Feinting is permitted.

FIFA Quote
Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted
as part of football. However, feinting to kick the ball once the player has
completed his run-up is considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of
unsporting behaviour for which the player must be cautioned.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
I did not see any illegal feinting here by the kicker. Feinting is allowed so a player as long as she continues to move forward without a complete stop she is entitled to feint. Indeed the fact that the goalkeeper saved the ball is a good indication that there was not illegal feinting of stopping with the goalkeeper committed to moving in the *wrong* direction.
Interestingly without VAR I wonder if the penalty save would have been allowed? Somewhat strange not to see an AR in the penalty kick position with technology doing the work!
With VAR this may be more strictly enforced. It will be interesting once it get to KFTPM stage should that happen.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi John,
I would have to say I agree with the IFAB that feinting is a normal part of the game. In fact, in many ways, some of the best, most attractive and most skilful parts of football (IMHO) are the clever tricks that players use to help their team defeat their opponents. We have seen some wonderful free kicks that use feints and deliberate misdirection to fool the opponents. Dribbling, again one of the most attractive parts of the game, is full of feints. If we allow feinting at free kicks, and in the game in general then I think we should allow it in the run-up at penalties.

On the other hand, the goalkeeper cannot be allowed to come too far off the line at a penalty, that would be unfair to the kicker. Having said that, the old law was perhaps too restrictive and new law on penalties actually gives goalkeepers more leeway to move than they had before. Previously, they had to keep both feet on the line but now that it's only one, the keeper can take up to a full step off the line, unlike in the past.

One of the reasons given by the IFAB in the explanation for the new change is actually to redress the balance somewhat, as follows:

''As the kicker can 'stutter' in the run, it is reasonable that the goalkeeper can take one step in anticipation of the kick.''

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