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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34012

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 9/30/2020

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


one short question, please.

The Penalty Kick rule says: 'When the ball is kicked, the defending goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, or in line with, the goal line.'

So can this foot be in the air above the line?

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
Yes, it can.

When this change to the law was made, the IFAB gave the following explanation:

"Goalkeepers are not permitted to stand in front of or behind the line. Allowing the goalkeeper to have only one foot touching the goal line (or, if jumping, in line with the goal line) when the penalty kick is taken is a more practical approach as it is easier to identify than if both feet are not on the line."

The part about "if jumping" makes it clear that this allows the foot (or feet) to be in the air.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The challenge as always is determining same. Without access to VAR all referees will not be able to clearly determine foot position at the exact moment of the kick. As a result most referees give a fair amount of leeway on foot position and only penalise obvious breaches of the encroachment Law.
I also think that to have the one foot in the air means anticipating direction as leverage off the ground with a placed foot has now gone. It will look like the GK is on or close to the line anyway.

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