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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33819

Law 18 - Common Sense 12/26/2019

RE: League Under 14

Karl Robinson of coleraine, LONDONDERRY United Kingdom asks...

Quick question. I was reffing a game a few weeks ago, and the blue team were attacking in the red teams box, and the blue team ends up scoring a goal.

However, I only realised after the goal was socred and at the protest of the red coaches that the goalkeepeer had been down on the ground injured closer to the edge of his box and was not in nets when the goal was scored, a fault on my part.

In this situation do I accept the fault of not seeing the goalkeeper injured and say there is nothing I can do the goal has been scored. Or do I say sorry lads I cant allow the goal and start wth a dropped ball etc?


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Karl
As play continued without it being known that the goalkeeper was down injured all a referee can do is accept it and award the goal. It is not really possible to do anything else and I suppose the Red team should have alerted you that there was an injury to the goalkeeper so in many ways they were as much unaware of the situation as you were.
If Blue felt it was unsporting then they could sort it through an uncontested goal from the kick off yet I doubt that would happen very often.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Karl,
There's nothing in the law that says you have to stop play when a player (even a goalkeeper) is injured. All the law says, is that the referee:

''- allows play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is only slightly injured

- stops play if a player is seriously injured ...''

So unless you decide that the player (goalkeeper or not) is seriously injured, you're not obliged to stop play.

Now, having said that, there is a commonly-held (and in my opinion, accurate) view that if a goalkeeper stays down on the ground with an injury, it's likely to be a relatively serious one, since keepers know how critical they are to their team's chances of preventing a goal and so will not stay on the ground unless they are seriously injured. So the convention is that usually, if you spot a goalkeeper laid out with an apparent injury, it's more or less expected that play will be stopped.

If you did not stop play though and a goal is scored, you haven't done anything technically wrong (and more importantly, neither has the team scoring the goal) so there is no good reason in law, to disallow the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Karl,
if the keeper was injured in the lead up to the goal but the injury went unnoticed by you and a goal was scored technically the goal is fine.

If the keeper was REALLY severely injured, say a broken leg and could not participate further your disallowing the goal might be easier accepted by blue given the keeper was not faking or recovering from a simple fall.

While it might appear unfair to allow the goal a referee has full discretion to allow play to continue. Unless you HAD seen the injury as severe and noticeable to which you would immediately stop play the goal is not suspect. The blue team has the option of allowing red to equalize on the kick off if they feel that their goal was scored unfairly.

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