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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000


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Question Number: 34015

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/4/2020

RE: Amateur Sunday league Adult

Rob of Manc , UK asks...

As a keeper, whilst facing a penalty would it be an offence to shout ‘keeper’s ball’ just as the attacker takes the penalty.?
I.e. in the same way a keeper would shout ‘keeper’ to claim a ball during normal play or put an attacker off.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rob
There is no other purpose for this shout other than to distract the kicker,
If the goal is scored then the goal is good. If however the kick is missed and the referee decides that the *shout* was a successful attempt to unfairly distract the kicker then it is a caution and a retake.
The caution is listed in Law12 which states that *There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, including if a player:......verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart*.
The decision rests with the referee. With so much going on at a penalty kick the referee might decide that the kicker was not put off unfairly by a shout particularly if there are other shouts going on from spectators.
But yes it can be an offence and the goalkeeper should not risk a retake by doing it.






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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Rob,
Shouting to distract an opponent at any time is an offence.
During play, shouting 'keeper's ball' when teammates serves the purpose of communicating to teammates - same as any player putting their name to it. Keepers often do it when no other defenders are around but they will usually get the benefit of the doubt by the referee as to whether their intent is to distract the opponent or prevent any un-noticed defenders from getting in the way. That said, I have heard of referees occasionally seeing an incident so loud and unnecessary, and so blatant, that the keeper was booked - shouting at an opponent to put them off falls under 'unsporting behaviour'.

At a penalty kick there's no need to 'claim' the ball, so as Ref McHugh states, if you (or any of your teammates) shout at the player just as they are about to take the penalty and it is missed, a yellow card should be given and the penalty retaken.

Even if the penalty is scored the referee could still issue the yellow card - although most probably won't.



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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rob,
It would be ultimately up to the referee to decide whether to penalise the goalkeeper for verbally distracting an opponent, but on the face of it, this would certainly appear to run contrary to the law as quoted by ref McHugh.

The referee might look at whether the penalty taker was actually distracted or not and might decide not to caution on the basis that they weren't but any goalkeeper doing this is putting themselves at serious and unnecessary risk of getting a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.



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