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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34319

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 8/25/2021

RE: Adult

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...

I wish to ask a question about penalty kicks. Say, team A has won a penalty and player A10 will take the penalty. Before the kick is taken, player A3 enters into the penalty area, A10 kicks the ball, the ball deflects from the goalkeeper, player A5 shoots and sends the ball into the goal of team B. Given that A3 is the only player who has committed an infringement but didn’t interfere with the play, what should be the referee’s decision here?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

H Crebs,
NO team should benefit if a player on their team committed an infringement before a goal was scored in their favor. I might incorrectly be recalling a poorly worded passage in the 1990s that in fact a player who infringed into the PA, the PK kicker missed and there was a rebound but did not affect the outcome or participated in a follow-up goal he could be discounted as long as he did not play the ball or interfere with an opponent. That is no longer true. Yet slight encroachments where a ball is put directly into the goal in a PK or when both teams jump a wee bit early. It appears only obvious encroachment is called. The last sentence in the quote below states if there is an offense, and the shot misses, it is an INDFK out!

"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 enters the goal, the kick is retaken

if the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and restarts with an indirect free kick."

(NOTICE TO ALL READERS ) I will ask if ANYONE out there who reads this if they have an old LOTG booklet green or blue that has this passage in it I would LOVE to get a hold of a copy to prove or disprove my recollection lol

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Crebs,
By the letter of the law if a teammate of the penalty taker encroaches (but no opponent does) and the kick is saved, the outcome should be an indirect free-kick to the defending side, no matter whether the encroaching player becomes involved or not.

Rightly or wrongly however, in reality this is often not the case. What usually seems to happen is that if there was only a small amount of encroachment that does not affect the final outcome (and given that in practice it's usual for there to be slight encroachment from both sides) many referees will discount this as being a trivial or dubious offence and will not call it.

It is perhaps worth noting that when VAR is in operation it is the case that penalty area encroachment is only to be subject to VAR review if an encroaching player becomes involved in whether a goal is scored or prevented. This VAR guideline could easily be seen to reflect or possibly actually enhance the idea that non-consequential encroachment is not considered by many to be a major violation of the law.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
The correct technical answer in Law 14 is that the goal is disallowed and the defending team is awarded an indirect free kick from where A3 entered the penalty area before the kick. If the penalty kick was scored directly the restart would be a retake.

In reality that never happens as the focus will be on the save, the rebound and perhaps the location of A5. So I would safely say that 99.999% of the time the goal will be awarded. The way these unfold is that is if A3 moves early so will a defender which then makes it that both teams infringe and that's a retake if required in all circumstances.

Even with the introduction of VAR the instruction is that encroachment offences and other infringements which do not directly affect whether a goal is scored cannot be reviewed. So in your example unless A5 infringed there would be no review and the goal would be good with the referee unlikely to call encroachment on A3 unless it was so blatant it could not be ignored.

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