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Question Number: 33854

Law 18 - Common Sense 1/28/2020

RE: Competitive Other

Matt of Bristow, VA 20136 asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33837

With reference to a defender bumping and attacker which causes the attacker to contact the ball with their hand/arm and the ball winds up being headed into the goal by a waiting teammate. The panel seems to be in favor of either calling the penalty for the bump or calling handling.

However, reviewing the laws, it seems to me that awarding a goal could be justified.

It is an offence if a player -
--deliberately touches the ball (he doesn't)
--gains possession/control (no possession and since the touch was unintentional no control so the creation of a gso is moot)
--scores...directly from THEIR hand (didn't go directly from his hand)
It is usually an offence if a player - (usually not always)
-- touches the ball when:
---the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger (the opponent bumped them in the course of play so any position of the player would not be 'unnatural'

The laws says 'It is an offence if a player...gains possesion/control of the ball...' In this case, the player did not gain possession of the ball, so the only reason to call this a handling would be if he 'controlled' the ball.

Since the original post states that Attacker B was waiting for the header, it seems as if the contact with the hand/arm was minimal enough that it would not meet my definition of control. Therefore, the criteria for handling has not been met and the goal can be awarded.

Now IF the ball was deflected by the hand/arm to an attacker who would have not otherwise been in position to play the ball, then - yes - I'd call the bump.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Matt, yes at times we look for a way to make it right even if the tools to do so are not there! . Ir was why I offered the INDFK of a misconduct action as opposed to an actual foul of pushing ( a dfk thus PK) . The INDFK option is weak I will grant you yet if you can see the correlation of the defenders actions creating the accidental handling as a purposeful action it is no greater stretch of the law then to not award the goal.
Your match your decision Your Reputation

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Matt,
This is where the spirit of the law really comes into play - understanding what IFAB are trying to achieve. As Ref Grove quoted, IFAB are simply trying to stop a goal from a handball.
Sometimes it is important to bend a law for a fair outcome, but I think you're pushing it a bit too far there.
On a side note, given the ball went from the attacking hand onto a teammate's head, I don't see any possible argument that the team didn't take possession - that header is possession off the accidental handling, so there's just no way to interpret the law out of a goal here.
Good question though!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Matt,
On this topic, what's interesting to note is that the IFAB has stated that it doesn't matter if the player themself gains possession of the ball from an accidental handball, it's still an offence even if the ball goes to a team mate and a goal is scored.

You will find the following ruling on the IFAB's Facebook page in a Q&A:

''The ball touches the hand of an attacking player. He/she does not gain control of the ball. However, right after that, his/her team mate gains possession of the ball and scores a goal. What is the referee's decision?

The referee will award a direct free kick for a handball offence. This is penalised, as within the 'spirit' of the Law, players/coaches/fans do not expect a goal to result from any use of the hand/arm.''

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Matt
In a recent Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester City there was situation where a ball hit Bernardo Silva of City in the Liverpool penalty area, the ball then hit Liverpools Trent Alexander-Arnolds outstretched arm and the ball was cleared with Liverpool going up the field and scoring after a clearance by City. No handling was considered on VAR review.
Now there was a lot of debate about that situation and in my opinion the ball hitting Silva on arm had it deflected to a team mate in that case Aguero then I believe it would have been called as handling.
PGMOL I believe said at the time that had the ball hit Silva on the arm and created a goal scoring opportunity, which it said did not happen, the goal would have been ruled out.
The interpretation rests on gains possession and for me it is being interpreted that it hitting the hand / arm and stays with the team that it meets the criteria of handling in any goal scoring opportunity.
If we take out the *bump* part I cannot see any referee or VAR interpreting any accidental handling as not meeting the criteria to call that as handling.
I recall a game involving Chile and a player had a shot on goal which accidentally hit a team mate on the arm, bounced back to another team mate and he scored. On review it was ruled out for handling .
There is no way the ball hitting the arm could be considered what is meant by control / possession yet in this case Referee Nestor Pistana who has refereed a World Cup final on review said it was handling. I suppose that the game is very much like the legal system that when a superior court makes a decision it is interpreted as a judgement in case law. One would assume that the interpretation by a FIFA official is informed and as I said I could not see that goal being allowed to stand based on the control / player only possession argument.
So while you point is well made I believe that on review it is either a foul for the bump and if that is not called then it is handling.

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