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Question Number: 34061

Kicks From The Penalty mark 11/22/2020

RE: Competitve Under 15

Ed Thomas of Winter Garden, FL United States asks...

I’d like to know your feedback on the Orlando vs New York City penalty shootout. Specifically, is VAR allowed to intervene when Orlando brings on their 6th sub (which in this case was the sub-keeper during the shootout)? And then for the actual red card, is it considered a clear and obvious mistake if we can barely tell if Gallese’s feet were in front of the line?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ed
Thanks for the question
There is an important point to make here in that MLS is still playing to the 19/20 Laws of the Game. The 20/21 Laws have important changes in respect of this incident
1. A goalkeeper now gets a verbal warning for his first encroachment and only in the case of a repeat is it a caution.
2. Cautions issued during the match are not carried forward into kicks from the penalty mark.
3. If the ball misses the goal or rebounds from the crossbar or goalpost(s), the kick is only retaken if the goalkeeper’s offence clearly impacted on the kicker.
If this incident happened in the next MLS season it would be a retake with no caution. A repeat would be a caution and as it would be his first caution in KFTPM the goalkeeper would not be sent off. He would only be sent off on a third encroachment that is the warning on the 1st, caution on the 2nd and a second caution on the 3rd encroachment. So there would have to be three encroachments involving retakes before a sending off.
On your VAR questions the following is the position.
VAR is allowed to check for encroachment when a goal has been saved. It is clear that the goalkeeper’s left foot was off the line at the moment of the kick. It is marginal by a few inches yet it is shown that there was a breach of Law14 of encroachment which is a caution and a retake under the ‘old’ law.
On the goalkeeper substitution the Laws only allow that to happen on an exceptional situation of as injury to a goalkeeper during KFTPM and when the team has not used all its substitutions. It would appear that the referee and 4th Official initially allowed the goalkeeper substitution to happen which was contrary to the Laws of the Game. How that error was conveyed to the referee is not clear yet we have to assume it was the VAR official who did so. The important point is that the decision was reversed before the next kick. Had that not happened it would have been an error in Law and a protestable decision which would have had serious consequences for the outcome.
VAR is allowed to ‘check’ every situation/decision to see if a potential clear error has been made in a match-changing situation. This would have been a clear error and a potential match changing situation. In principle, a match is not invalidated because of a review of a non-reviewable situation/decision. So the correct outcome was arrived at and the onfield referee crew may have questions to answer about how the situation was managed and their lack of knowledge of the Laws on substitutions.
In my opinion without VAR there would not have been any second caution or retake and as that brought the referee crew into unfamiliar territory one could understand how this all came about. I do not ever recall a sending off for encroachment on KFTPM nor the need to replace a goalkeeper in KFTPM and it is truly a learning point on Law 14 and KFTPM.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Ed ,
the LOTG are constantly in an evolutionary process. The development & implementation of these laws are religiously re-evaluated for their effect on the game. Trying to solve one old problem, a new addition or definition can create a new problem not foreseen, perhaps overlooked or ignored. This is evident in the 2019-2020 LOTG that stated if a keeper was guilty of encroachment on a missed PK or KFTPM, the keeper was to be mandatorily cautioned and shown the yellow card with the kick retaken. Add this to the fact cautions issued during the match were carried forward into KFTPM and this ugliness occurs! No referee arbitrarily could choose NOT to caution, or NOT send off for 2 cautions thus the MLS referee had NO CHOICE.

The MLS STARTED their regular season on February 29, 2020, and was originally planned to end on October 4, 2020.
The NEW LOTG were introduced in August 2020. A league is guided by the LOTG for THAT year to which they apply. So in this match the LOTG 2019-2020 apply. Contrary to the EPL which started in Sept 2020 they will follow the NEW 2020-2021 LOTG

The NEW 2020-2021 LOTG CHANGED the description to read the retake WAS still in effect but only a verbal WARNING to the keeper was required for a 1st offence . A caution show the yellow card WOULD be required if he was to do it a 2nd time.

WHY was it implemented, them changed, you ask? Good Question. lol

Keepers coming off the line early to cut down angles on PKs or KFTPM was a problem. It is not easy to define in real time, what I call real grass roots soccer, unlike the VAR professional stop imagery technology, which can isolate a foot fault to a fraction of an inch.

Referee's were reluctant to make real time calls unless it was so blatantly affecting the outcome by being so unfair it was beyond obvious. Yet many instances of keepers well away from the goal line at the taking of these kicks, be it in a shoot out KFTPM or in regulation PK situations were documented and contentious due to it was NOT being equally applied across the wide variety of matches world wide. The drive for consistency across the world so coaches, players and fans had less to crab about and less discretion for error on the part of the referee.

The step out away from the goal line was almost always involuntary/instinctive reaction by a keeper as the kicker approached the ball BEFORE it was kicked so the Laws were relaxed allowing the keeper only had to have 1 foot on the line instead of both at the taking of a PK or KFTPM. . It seemed then, to those that make up the LOTG that if the keeper was permitted this tactical gift then a mandatory caution so referees did not overlook this blatant act of USB . The issue for ME as a referee is IF I AM retaking a kick, this mandatory caution added further pressure that I best be really sure as it had a big impact on the game. The keeper is close marches is OFTEN dinged with a delay of game for wasting time or even a tactical foul so they used to wind wind up carrying a card INTO a shoot out or PK situation. Now a mandatory caution for encroachment or early movement it raises the bar to a double caution send off show a red card and the keeper is removed. Lets not forget the dissent that often goes with the protesting the decision to retake! If it goes south again it is a set up for an emotional double caution, one for encroachment the other for dissent and not accepting the decision.

Take a for instance, the keeper steps out a tad early off his line to the right of goal, the PK kicker fires the ball high over the cross bar, or way left wide for a clean miss.
TECNICALLY a retake but did that affect the shot? Keeper are you crazy Goes ballistic, We have NO choice to issue the 1st caution BECAUSE we MUST retake but now if this idiot busts our chops with continued whining boom a 2nd caution he is gone and OVER what? A few inches going right for a ball that was NEVER going to bust the the netting??? We as referees realize players get emotional and angry and have SOME sympathy, SOME compassion, but we also have integrity and pride and respect issues that can only be pushed so far!

Even if say the PK is fired over the crossbar in the middle or even far right and the keeper never got a touch?
TECNICALLY a retake but did that truly affect the shot?
IF the keeper blocks the ball with his body, feet or finger tips and he left a tad early TECNICALLY a retake but did that movement affect the shot or prevent it from entering the goal unfairly? I might be convinced on a finger tip save that few inches made the difference but would I or you even catch that in REAL time?

No referee likes to create a situation but it is a fact some situations CREATE themselves. I can almost guarantee that in a grass roots match that save we evaluate here is not questioned . With VAR freeze frame the fact the match is publicly seen on video far and wide the referee will be told by VAR the keeper was off the line at the taking of the PK. If the CR accepts this input he must caution the keeper, no ifs ands or buts. Given 2019-2020 laws apply given it is a 2nd caution in a match (the keeper had been cautioned I think for USB earlier in the match perhaps time wasting in delaying the restart??) thus a double yellow is a red card send off and goodbye keeper. It is why cautions are no longer carried into the shoot out under the new LOTG

So while the keeper is SENT off he CAN NOT be substituted nor can any of the 10 remaining players BE substituted for a new keeper. In point of fact one of the ten players must become the new keeper as only those on the FOP at the end of the match can participate in a shoot out. There is an EXCEPTION for a keeper substitution during KFTPM but ONLY if the keeper was legitimately injured and the team STILL had legitimate substitution options remaining could a keeper from out of the technical area be permitted to play.

It should be noted: since a keeper is sent off reducing them to 10 players under the reduce to equate principles the opposition could choose one of their 11 players to NOT participate or continue in the shoot out to equalize the teams at 10 versus 10.

There was miscommunication between the officials, , as to who said what or corrected who, the placing of blame is likely a shared burden yet, despite SOME confusion the KFTPM were conducted legally with the corrected substitute/player keeper in goal. If the officials has carried on and restarted with that 1st illegal sub or ended the match after the legal sub player keeper made a save given the announcers were screaming its over without allowing the follow up shot which was scored needed to actually win it, the match would be a protestable as it would be contrary to the LOTG.

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