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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33995

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 9/20/2020

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...


one situation, please.

The player takes a penalty kick. His teammate enters the penalty area before the ball moves. The goalkeeper saves the ball (or bounces it back into the field, or deflects it off the field).

Is it always and immediately an indirect free kick for the goalkeeper's team?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
The actual wording of the law on this is fairly clear and goes as follows:

"If, before the ball is in play, one of the following occurs: the player taking the penalty kick or a team-mate offends:
if the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and restarts with an indirect free kick"

So by that wording yes it should be an IFK to the defending team. However I think you know that in practice, there are several real-world factors that mitigate against such a clear-cut outcome. Firstly, there's the question of whether the match officials actually detect the offence which can be hard to spot, especially if it's marginal. Secondly it's almost always the case that players from both sides encroach, at least by an small margin (though sometimes it's more) and then there's the question of what is generally considered acceptable by players, referees and football in general.

I think it's fairly obvious to anyone who watches the game regularly that encroachment is normally only penalized if it's a fairly obvious example and/or affects the subsequent play from a save or rebound.

It's interesting to note that if VAR is in use, the play can only be reviewed if the encroaching player(s) do become involved in the subsequent action and in fact I'd say that's often the way it's treated in real time, even without a VAR system involved.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The technical answer is IDFK
In reality though will the referee be paying that much attention to minimal encroachment that has no effect on play.
IFAB on a recent change to Law14 stated that for a penalty that is kicked wide with goalkeeper encroachment that it should only be retaken if the encroachment clearly impacted on the kicker.
One can assume from that wording change that IFAB only wants offences that clearly impact on play to be penalised.
In the case where the ball goes wide then for me no need for the referee to intervene. If however the ball rebounds to an attacking player who has clearly benefitted from encroachment them an IDFK would be appropriate

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Petr,
the INDFK out put is the prescribed solution to this CLEAR cut question of identifiable encroachment that affects play. Yet as my colleagues address the fact how serious is it in terms of being identified in realtime and actually affecting the play ? Ambiguous determinations in the past consider such things as trifling or doubtful and thus ignorable. Is it the right thing to do? Your match Your decision Your Reputation!

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