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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34588

Law 1- The Field 5/11/2022

RE: Competitive Under 17

Anthony of New york, NY United States asks...

While in play our forward took a high arching shot from midfield the ball bounced at the top of the box and was going towards the goal. The goalie backed up as it was over his head into the goal reached up and hit ball as his hand was caught in the netting. The ended up behind him in the goal . One referee called it a goal the other said it was disallowed because of interference??? How is this my teams fault that he got his hand caught in the netting? I believe this was a goal , was it? Thank you in advance.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Anthony
Thanks for the question.
A goalkeeper getting caught in the netting would not be a reason to disallow a goal. Perhaps if for some strange reason the netting got excessively dislodged during play and it was beyond the goal line in front of the posts then a possible case could be made for outside interference. That though would be a rare and highly unusual event. It would require something untoward to have happened to the nets as a pre match inspection should ensure that the nets are free from holes and properly attached to the goal frame behind the goal line

A goalkeeper getting caught up in the netting trying to make a save would not be a reason to disallow a goal. Every chance the ball has already crossed the goal line anyway before the goalkeeper got caught up.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Anthony,
I am 100% in your corner here!
The fact the keeper got tangled by backing in should not disallow the goal.

Technically according to the IFAB/FIFA LOTG in order to play the game a soccer goal does not require a netted backstop unless stated in the bylaws or ROC but where there is one it is the duty of a referee, in the pregame check, is to ensure the goal is secure and not able to tip over or pose a hazard SAFETY i.e.. no baggy netting hanging down or unsecured netting where a ball could make it through .

If the match officials permitted the match to go ahead and there was loose netting within the goal frame that could pose interference that is on them for not making the ground keepers or who ever is responsible for hanging the nets do their job properly. Also should there be something that occurs within the game, a high wind perhaps a loosening a pin holding the netting taunt lets go during the match, if noted, it should be repaired! It sounds as if you were being officiated under the dual system used by USA high school? The fact they disagree seems peculiar given the LOTG or in their case the rules should address this type of incident

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Anthony,

Something that can really test a referee is how they respond to these 'once in a blue moon' situations - especially when they're not clearly covered by the laws.

I concur with my esteemed colleagues - this is the goalkeeper's own problem. Being part of the field, it's not 'outside interference' as such - I see no reason to disallow the goal.

Now, sure if play has gone out from goal and the keeper is still tangled up, maybe then stop play to sort it out. But there's no impact there.

As it stands - I agree with you it's the keeper's fault, not yours, that his hand got caught in the netting.

If, say, making the save pulled a portion of the net down and that tangled up the keeper then maybe there's a case for stopping play - but if it's just a simple case of a high arm getting caught in the net, I see no case for disallowing the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Anthony,
A baffling decision to be sure. There's nothing in the Laws of the Game that I can see, that would justify a referee disallowing this goal.

I agree with all my colleagues that the goal should have been awarded.

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