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Question Number: 34070

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 12/5/2020

RE: Pro Adult

Alex Dormer of Lexington , Kentucky usa asks...

If a goalkeeper/player had to touch the ball twice from a goalkick or a freekick to prevent opponent from scoring whats awarded(if inside and outside penalty area)and can they be sent off for denying a clear scoring opportunity?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Alex,
the new LOTG now permit us to consider the 2nd touch including by a keeper as a DOGSO via a free kick offence although the send off for denying an obvious goal or goal scoring opportunity will depend on the circumstances surrounding the event!

The keeper is permitted to use their hands inside the PA but NOT outside the PA.

A Player is NOT permitted to use their hands at all!

Even though a second touch is an INDFK offence , if the ball is in play and that 2nd touch is actually (a deliberately handled ball) we apply the greater punishment! In the case of a player if DOGSO-H applies & criteria is met, show red card send off restart
a DFK outside the PA
a PK inside the PA.

The exception is if the keeper were to handle the ball a second time or directly after the teammate had put the ball in play via a free kick or throw in. If the TOUCH occurs INSIDE his own PA we restart with an INDFK from that point subject to the special circumstances in the goal area and could possibly be cautioned for USB. or a red card send off if DOGSO criteria are met . Cautions are not mandatory though as in all misconduct it depends on the severity of the circumstances. If the keeper were to use their hands on a deliberately handled ball, OUTSIDE, their PA, it is judged the same as if he were a outfield player thus a DFK restart, cards apply if circumstances dictate!

If the touch is in fact a 2nd kick by the player taking the restart due to a poor restart or a bad throw the correct restart is an INDFK from that contact point. DOGSO could apply as DOGSO via a free kick offence one would think gifting a loss of ball possession in a good scoring position should be punishment enough! I think the unnecessary punishment particularly in say a high wind situation wherein air ball might be blown back or on a super wet field where a ball might stop suddenly or a player slip and miss kick or bobble a throw in is NOT really in keeping with the match priorities of a emphatic red card send off of DOGSO yet the option does exist.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alex
Law 12 has recently changed in respect of this offence. In the past it could not be a red card for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity INSIDE the penalty area and it could have been outside the area. In the past the ball had to go outside the penalty area to be in play.
That has all now changed in that a double touch inside the penalty area that denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity with all four conditions met it is now a red card.
If the goalkeeper offence happens inside the penalty area the restart is an indirect free kick whereas outside the penalty area it is a direct free kick if a hand is used and an IDFK if the ball is kicked.
An example would be where a goalkeeper miskicks say a goal kick and he then runs to dive and knock the ball away from an attacker using his hands inside the penalty area with all four DOGSO conditions met. When that offence has denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity it is punished by a red card and an IDFK restart. Outside the penalty area it is a direct free kick offence to handle the ball on a double touch as the more serious offence is punished.
Personally I believe it will be a very rare offence and one that many referees will not have to deal with too often if at all. Double touch offences are indeed rare and I struggle to recall one that I ever had to call.
At Underage I would suggest that referees should be lenient on any "inadvertent" double touch after a miskick. I personally cannot see how any goalkeeper will not double touch when faced with the situation of doing nothing.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Alex,
Yes, a goalkeeper can be sent off for the offence you describe. This is because of a change made to the Laws of the Game for the 2020/21 edition.

The new wording goes as follows:

"The goalkeeper has the same restrictions on handling the ball as any other player outside the penalty area. If the goalkeeper handles the ball inside their penalty area when not permitted to do so, an indirect free kick is awarded but there is no disciplinary sanction. However, if the offence is playing the ball a second time (with or without the hand/arm) after a restart before it touches another player, the goalkeeper must be sanctioned if the offence stops a promising attack or denies an opponent or the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity."

The IFAB accompanied this change with the following explanation:

"If a goalkeeper deliberately plays the ball a second time at a restart (before it has touched another player) and stops a promising attack or denies a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the goalkeeper should be cautioned (YC) or sent off (RC). This applies even if the second touch was with the hand/arm, as the offence is not ‘handball’ but ‘illegally’ playing the ball a second time."

As to the restart, if the second touch is inside the penalty area it would be an indirect free kick - outside the penalty area it would be a direct free kick for a "handling offence-second touch" and an indirect free kick for any other kind of second touch.

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