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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34368

Law 18 - Common Sense 10/3/2021

RE: Professional league Professional

KALUNGA of Mufulira, Copper belt Zambia asks...

A team is awarded a penalty kick. A team mate ( goal keeper) of the kicker picks an extra ball and controls it in his penalty area making it two balls on the field of of play. However the goal keeper is told to remove the ball from the field of play but doesn't do that and that time a penalty kick is taken and a goal is scored. Should the goal be disallowed and a penalty kick retaken or not. Which ever way, what should be the considerations

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kalunga
Thanks for the question
There was a time in the game when an extra ball on the field of play was a reason to stop play. Not any longer.
The current law states that a referee should allow play to continue if the extra ball does not interfere with play and have it removed at the earliest possible opportunity.

An extra ball at the other end of the field is not interference so it could be ignored

However a referee could opine that the kicker’s goalkeeper’s blatant action of ignoring tne referees instruction to remove the extra ball was dissent for which the goalkeeper couod be cautioned. If the penalty kick signal was already given then the outcome is awaited and if a goal is scored it should be a retake if the caution is issued.

Personally I would insist in the ball bring removed before the penalty kick so the question does not arise.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The fact that the ball is on the FOP at the opposing end of the FOP and the keeper was askd to remove it, this sounds like a goofy way to create an issue where none is to be found! The referee could easily just ask for the ball to be removed and delay the PK restart until it was so if it was important to do so. Dissent for not doing such a simple thing? To cancel out a goal and then caution then retake for misconduct seems lunacy. The ball at the othe end has no bearing on the PK. Once the PK is taken likely the ball would be kicked away if play continued or if a kick off ensued.

A Pk is a deadball situation requiring a restart, it is not active play until you give a the signal to go ahead and the PK kicker gives it a go. IF some idiot rolled a ball into the goal or out in front to distract or create a fuss or even if kicked in accidently from a nearby field before the shot occurs in your PK area chances are we could delay or retake the PK as that could be meaningfull interference.

The only reason a referee needs to intervene is IF an extra ball wound up on the FOP during actual play & interfered in a MEANINGFUL way. A ball just being on the FOP by design or accident really is insignificant. UNLESS it collides with the other ball, hits a player trying to get to the other ball or in someway can be actually confused as being the proper ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Kalunga,
Purely as a matter of law play does not have to be stopped when there is a second ball on the field unless that ball interferes with play.

The actual wording of Law 5 states that if:

"an extra ball, other object or animal enters the field of play during the match, the referee must:

stop play (and restart with a dropped ball) only if it interferes with play"

Now, since the referee had apparently noticed the extra ball and asked for it to be removed then I agree it would have been better to deal with that and have the ball removed before the kick.

However if the referee judged that, despite it not being removed, the extra ball did not interfere with play (and since it was at the opposite end of the field it almost certainly didn't) then it would be legal for the penalty kick to proceed and for the goal to be given.

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