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Question Number: 33938

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 5/21/2020

RE: Rec Adult

Russell Montgomery of Sydney, Australia asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33937

Yes, good to see games happening again - and I hope everyone is safe in this 'new normal'.

Agree that the converted penally was within the LOTG, as I did say 'coming close too', and certainly the example Ref MCHUGH provided is a clear example of a breach.

The reason I think it is coming close too an issue is that as Ref Wright points out, it is designed to stop 'feinting to make the keeper move'..and if we want get pedantic about the wording - in relation to the action - Lewandowski did exactly that (as has done so many others).

There is the argument that a keeper trying to move early is their equivalent - but really, how often would that effect these incredibly professional penalty takers. Clearly, in this instance, the keeper moved before the kick, and we will never know if that is due to the keeper making a pre mediated move, or being influenced by the kickers action.

As Ref Grove mentioned, ''feinting in the run-up is permitted''and is only an issue '...once the kicker has completed the run-up' - which he did not do. So, as I indicated - technically it is fine.

I just still struggle with 'spirit' aspect, and so 'My match, my Decision, My reputation. To that point, no, I would not be pulling it up - I'll work with the LOTG despite my own thoughts.

My point (probably made far too obscurely) is that I think maybe the wording could be amended to reduce the obvious attempt to ' make the keeper move'.

That said - there is probably a lot more important things that need addressing in the game at the moment.

Cheers guys.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Russell,
I would just make a couple of points perhaps. Yes, feinting is (usually) an attempt to get the keeper to move - and feinting is explicitly allowed, as we have already established. So I would not be in favour of a law change to prohibit what the law is designed specifically to allow.

Secondly, keepers will almost always move just fractionally before the ball is kicked anyway - whether the kicker feints or not. As a former goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach, I would say it's about the only way to save a penalty (at least if it's well-struck). If keepers wanted to avoid being thrown off by a feint, they could just remain stock still until the ball is actually kicked. However, as this would vastly reduce their chances of saving the kick, they're not going to do this.

So it's a risk that keepers are prepared to take, and since the player taking the penalty knows this as well, they often try to exploit this natural tendency by throwing in a slight hesitation during the run up. I don't think you can blame the kicker for doing this, nor do I think the law should seek to do so.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
The referee has a clear decision to make. Does he allow it or if not then it is a caution and an IDFK. I doubt any referee is going to go with the latter here as it is feinting and accepted by the game. A referee might cut a goalkeeper more slack on movement in these situations if he managed to save it.
Now feinting is an attempt to *fox* the goalkeeper as to the kickers intention and perhaps to get a weight shift to a particular side. So feinting is either allowed or not rather than any change of wording.

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