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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33610

Law 18 - Common Sense 9/1/2019

RE: Red Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33599

While in agreement with the general thoughts of the panel regarding if the pass was intended for the keeper - if not intended, then wave it off as not an issue " should we acknowledge the wording from George (of PARANGARECUTIRIMICUARO " such a unique named location - I just had to google it !!) that states 'taps the ball TO the goalie'.

Often, we are advise to not ponder the 'intention' of a players action. So if we followed that explicably, 'to' the keeper appears to be deliberate. That of course is not an issue - playing it 'To' a keeper. Only an (IDFK) issue once the keepers handles the ball (inside the PA).

Also, I think it worth noting 'to' the keeper does not have to be in a straight line to the keeper " I have seen defenders very deliberately play the ball to the side of a keepers position, however, it is very clear an obvious they are playing it to them " as they maybe doing so expecting the keeper to kick the ball away/upfield.

So if we are convinced that pass is 'to' the keeper and the ball is headed into the goal (poorly executed pass 'to' the keeper), does denying a goal become an issue.

The 'first' infringement is the handling, however, does denying a goal come under a 'higher' level infringement when two infringement happen concurrently, and so that is what must be ruled on.

(There has been plenty written in the last year or so about if two infringements ever really happen at the same time.)

Of course, I could go and check this out in the LOTG, however, for the benefit of myself and other readers - I'm keen to read the panels views (as you guys express it in far more applicable views then the LOTG or the advice to Ref's etc).

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Russell,

Parangaricutirimicuaro, located in Michoacan in Mexico. In 1943 the Volcan de Paricutin started to rise out of a farmer's cornfield. In the following eruption, it buried 2 villages under lava and ashes, including San Juan Parangaricutirimicuaro. The church of San Juan is now an abandoned ruin in the middle of nowhere. No one died from the Paricutin volcano as all residents were evacuated. The volcano erupted for 8yrs.
Parangaricutirimicuaro is neither Spanish nor Nazhuatl. This is Purepecha (Tarascan), a language still spoken in the state of Michoaca, Mexico.
Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro is located about 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) west of Uruapan and 16-kilometer (9.9 mi) east of the peak of Paricutin

I was away for Georges initial question but I would agree that a save for a poorly aimed back pass, if that was what the defender was intending and it was not a clearance or a miss kick could still be held as an INDFK offence. It does not have to be a a beautiful controllable directional pass. IF the referee is convinced the keeper is the indeed target of the team mate deliberately kicked back-pass the keeper is NOT permitted the use of the hands. Yet no referee should look for a suspect if it was NOT glaringly obvious either . A keeper is expected to stop an own goal with any means possible if he could just as in any other attacking shot on goal.

In cases where pressure by defenders results in shielding and keepers jump on loose balls in front of goal. Let remember that keepers are expected to get to these balls. Often the defender is trying to clear but being bumped or pressured by the attackers and the defender is trying not to foul or create a foul including tapping the ball TO his keeper in the form of a CLEAR back pass. Sometimes the keeper just dives in to get it as opposed to have it being effectively shielded and then gently kicked so it rolls into his grasp.
UNDER NO circumstances is a keeper just using his hands INSIDE the PA to prevent a goal a DENIAL of goal EVER!!!! It COULD be an indfk offence if the hands are not to be used but there is no red card send off no need to caution.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
I would say it's a bit of an over-generalisation to say that referees should not consider intent. There is one major area of the law where it should not be considered - physical contact challenges - but there are various other areas where, as per the clear wording of the law, intent must be considered.

Incidents where the ball is kicked to the keeper is one of those areas. The law says it is only an offence if the ball is deliberately kicked to the goalie. If the kick is not intentional or not intended for the goalkeeper, it is not an offence. Now, you are right to say that this doesn't mean the ball absolutely has to be kicked straight at the goalie for an offence to occur but I do think it requires (to repeat the phrase that I have used a number of times before) that the referee be convinced of the player's motive, before penalising this - or indeed the various other offences where intent is a necessary consideration.

You might be interested to know that the words 'deliberate' or 'deliberately' are used 21 times in the main body of the law (and a bunch more times in the various additional sections). In fact, I think it's true to say that there are probably more areas where intent is to be considered than where it is not.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
Let's deal with a key consideration here. A goalkeeper cannot be cautioned or dismissed for handling a deliberate kick from a team mate inside his penalty area. It is an IDFK only and no set of circumstances changes that.
The Law was amended recently to put in a separate offence of touching the ball with a held object such as a shin guard or a bottle of which the goalkeeper can be guilty off and that does carry a card for the goalkeeper inside the penalty area. That removed the anomaly of it being seen as handling for which the goalkeeper could not be sanctioned for.
As to intent it is part of the Laws and on this particular Law once the referee determines that the intent of the player was to kick the ball to the goalkeeper or a place for the goalkeeper to pick the ball up then that is all that matters. If there is uncertainty as to the intent such as a tackle, miskick, kicked out for a corner etc then the referee is perfectly entitled to deem that as not a deliberate kick to the goalkeeper and allow play to continue.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Russell,
This law is an odd one in that it's one of 2 laws where we consider intent - that and deliberate handling; although even that law is gradually reducing the dependence upon mindreading!

With the law we're talking out though, referees usually give players the benefit of the doubt - I think it's pretty uncommon for referees to incorrectly penalise a player here; they're more likely to incorrectly not penalise!

You are correct that 'to' the keeper doesn't have to be in a straight line - it can be played into space for the keeper to run onto.

It can even be played into space outside the PA, and the keeper retrieves the ball and takes it back into the PA - if he did that it would still be an offence.

It is also a strange law in that the offence is what the defender does, but it doesn't become an offence until the keeper handles it (and the restart is from the keeper's location, not the defender's!).

Another possibility worth pointing out is that a defender trapping the ball with their foot then leaving it for the keeper is covered by 'kicking it to the keeper' (as kicking the ball is playing it with the foot, as is trapping).

It can get really interesting in a crowded area. Now, some referees argue that you'll never award an IFK for 'backpass'. I don't like that - as I commented in my earlier answer in the question you referenced, I certainly believe the offence can be committed when under pressure, it's just you apply more benefit of the doubt. What gets interesting in a crowded area is that a defender, right in front of the keeper might trap the ball with their foot and the keeper just sees a loose ball and dives on it. This ISN'T an offence - because in this case I have no reason to think the defender trapped it to leave it for the keeper (this goes back to intent) - just that the keeper saw the ball and pounced on it, even though it was under his teammate's control. But, there might be cues by the defender - such as trapping the ball, looking up at the keeper, then stepping back from the ball and using his body to shield it - that tell you his intent. I'd suggest always keep an eye out, but don't look TOO hard for this offence in crowded or contested scenarios. I normally just call out 'No, no intent there!' when waving down appeals for a 'backpass'. Can run along a player and explain in more detail if necessary (and appropriate).

Going onto your final point about the handling offence being a 'low' level offence versus denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity being 'higher' - Law 12 specifically states that a goalkeeper cannot be sanctioned (carded) for any handling related offence inside their own PA.

So...DOGSO cannot be a consideration. There's no way around it - I've seen some referees try creative arguments on how the card isn't for the handling related offence but for the misconduct of denying possession/obvious goalscoring opportunity....but those arguments are wrong. Referees should refrain from 'lawyering' the...umm...laws. By that I mean making convoluted, technical and semantic arguments (I'm not saying that's what you're doing - just how I've seen others respond to your question). Bear in mind that the laws now instruct referees to consider the spirit (or intent) of the laws - and I think they've made it clear that the keeper cannot be sanctioned for anything related to handling in their own PA. The laws are now written to state:
'denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a handball offence (except a goalkeeper within their penalty area)'
Going back to seeing some other referees make creative arguments, I've seen some argue that 'well, I'll just put it under the DOGSO-foul heading to be able to do it', or for a caution 'I'm not cautioning for the handling, I'm cautioning for the misconduct of stopping the attack'. cards to the keeper in their PA if you're awarding a FK because they handled the ball. Ever.

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