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Question Number: 34638

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 7/9/2022

RE: REC Under 14

Tony of Auckland, New Zealand asks...

If the goalie is holding the ball in one hand and touches the goal post to steady himself from going over the goal line is it a corner. His feet are always in field of play. Had this happen today and the ref called a corner.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tony
Thanks for the question

The position of the goalkeeper makes no difference to the decision. It solely depends on whether all the ball crossed all of the goal line.

I make the assumption that the referee was on his own as with an assistant the referee would depend on the AR who would flag for the corner kick had the ball crossed the goal line. No AR flag and it is play on unless the referee sees something the AR could not.

I recall giving a corner kick in a game where a goalkeeper moving along the goal line outside the post reached well over the goal line to grab the ball to drag the ball back and then dived landing on the line. The ball had originally deflected off the outside of the post and as I was on my own I opined to do what I described the ball had to be over the line so I awarded a corner kick. A goal was scored from the corner kick so the conceding team was not best pleased with my original call. Probably with an AR it would still have been contested. We have all seen video replays of line decisions that were shown to be incorrect either way or who touched the ball last.

I suspect that with the goalkeeper standing on the line who then uses his free arm to stop him falling over the line that the referee opined based on body angle etc that the goalkeeper's carrying arm had held the ball over the line? That is a judgement call and it is a matter of opinion based on what is seen and from what position.
I also recall not awarding hairline goals in other games as they would have been game changing decisions to do so and I was not 100% certain that all of the ball had crossed all of the line in those situations nor did I have ARs to assist with the call. In the scheme of things a corner kick call obviously is a decision that does not carry the same weight of importance.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Tony,
hmm sounds a bit odd? I will assume he is OUTSIDE the post not inside under the crossbar otherwise it could be a goal assuming there was no mitigating circumstances that would not permit a goal?

The keeper is not permitted to hang off the crossbar as a matter of sporting conduct but a post lean is not a reason to award a corner kick, but then neither is a crossbar hanging incident.

To award a corner kick, the ball itself must be last touched by the defending team aka the keeper likely in this case and that ball must fully cross the defending team's goal line to be out into touch.

The position of the keeper's feet play no part in the decision, BALL location only!
For a Corner kick a defending touch precedes it
For a Goal kick the attackers touch precedes it!

I can not fathom a referee thinking that touching the post is of in its self a violation where he would have fallen outside the FOP into touch therefore awarding the corner on what could have occurred and by grabbing the post it was unfair.

I will go with my good colleagues concepts that from the vantage point of
option 1
a single referee from his angle of view felt that the ball was indeed carried over the goal line by the keeper in some manner DESPITE the post grab /lean or
option 2
his AR had an excellent view and flagged it as such, the referee agreed.

In both options the ball was outside the post so no goal was possible. Generally if this occurs under the crossbar between the posts it is most often a goal not a corner although there are a few situations where that is not true.

In cases where a referee might be uncertain, in a close call I might think it best to go with, play on, as least harmful or game impacting decision. Yet, if that is what you know to be true, as a neutral official, the call is based on that as a matter of integrity.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Tony,

The only possible, valid reason to award a corner here is if the referee judges that the whole of the ball had crossed the line, after having last touched a player of the defending team.

Neither the goalkeeper's foot position, nor the fact that they touched the post has any relevance to the decision.

Only the position of the ball counts - along with who touched it last.

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