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Question Number: 34682

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 8/28/2022

RE: Select Under 16

Brian Bennion of Chester, Cheshire United kingdom asks...

When taking a corner kick,the player moves the ball three yards tells the ref he's taken the corner kick.then runs off,another player from the same team takes over and crosses the ball. is this legal. as a parent I was sent from the field of play for challenging the refs decision

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
Thanks for the question.
This corner kick ruse has been around for a long time and there are differing views on it. One of the issues with the ruse is that the referee can “miss” the restart to see that the ball was in the arc, it was at rest and it was clearly kicked and moved.
Many times for the ruse to work there has to be verbal distraction such as a shout to leave it for it to be taken by another player. Verbal distraction is not allowed in the game.
If a player however clearly takes a corner kick correctly and puts it into play then there is nothing wrong in the ball being left for it to be played by a team mate. Leaving the ball unguarded might be a risk when an opponent might be tuned in yet that is part of the risk when doing a ruse.
You might recall the infamous Kuyt goal for Liverpool v Sunderland back in 2012. The referee allowed the goal to count after ruling that Turner of Sunderland had taken a free-kick when he appeared to roll it back to goalkeeper Mignolet with a kick. . Torres ran in for the ball raced through on goal and played in Kuyt to score. Perhaps another referee might have opined that the kick was not taken and ask for the kick to be taken. Sunderland were incensed as they said the kick was not taken.
Regular straight forward kicks in my experience rarely happen as players feel that for a ruse to work it needs the words to convince the opponents that the ball is not in play.
As to challenging a referee’s decision after play has been already stopped or allowed to continue there is no potential for that to change anything. If play has been stopped it has to be restarted again which can be a retake or an IDFK if the referee opines that verbal distraction was used while the ball was in play.
If play continues then the referee has opined that there was nothing untoward with the play.
For what it is worth I don’t like the ruse plays as it can cause all sorts of problems for the game. In your case a dismissal from the field of play in what should have been a simple restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Brian ,
as a type of free kick, the corner kick can be taken quickly if the referee is confident no misconduct requires their attention. Leaving the ball there for a team mate ONCE kicked into play is not illegal, then the ball sits there until one of the other 21 players comes to play it as the defenders can rush in as well if they are observant.

From the details you provided I am unaware of any misconduct on the part of the team taking the corner kick?

If after the ball, last being touched by a defender, exited completely off the FOP crossing over the goal line into touch , then after it was retrieved the ball properly placed in the corner arc and kicked ONCE into play, even if a short distance we are good to go.

If it was dribbled the three yards with multiple touches that is an INDFK action as a second touch

Are you saying the 1st player took the corner kick but the the next teammate replaced it back into the arc and crossed it?

If the referee felt that 3 foot kick put that ball in play & they used their hands to reposition the ball , a DFK out!

If the ball was kicked, dribbled back to the arc and crossed then play is ongoing and no reason to do anything. However, if the referee accepted the ball as already in play that 2nd touch cross would be subject to offside interpretation since only the 1st original corner kick was exempt!

Regardless, if there was something odd, if the referee is allowing play, as a parent you should not be so vocal and interrupt the match for such an event. You agree to disagree and move on in the match for the benefit of the youth, allowing the match to flow without unnecessary rancor! If there is a decent atmosphere for post game discussion fine. Save the hmmm, what if decisions and puzzling events for later examination. Mark it down, ask about it, report your thoughts on a information input sheet and hand it in to the soccer gurus in charge. To be expelled from the playing area as a parent/spectator, assuming the league permits this authority is not an image that you should be looking to cultivate...

There is not supposed to be misconduct where verbal misdirection like, "Hey John you take it!" then then the coach yells, "No I want Frank to take it!", where then John knocks the ball a bit with the foot around or just out of the arc claiming the ball is in play whereas everyone is waiting for the corner to begin as a cross from Frank. This is potentially what could be interpreted as unfair and possibly what you were upset about? The coach/players responsible could be cautioned or warned for such behavior! The thing is the referee is ok with the players decisions to proceed then as a match condition his decision to keep playing is the final word.

The referee MIGHT want to signal the corner kick in with a whistle start and could demand that they wait until he does so, given he is often busy with the chaos of the teams theatrics in front of the goal and needed to deal with that BEFORE he allows play to continue! In instances where teams are looking to get tricky but I can not truly grasp the ideocracies of the subtle handoff or if working as a single official my attention might be diverted for a movement I likely just redo the corner kick claiming I want to to whistle it in .

As for the kicker stating he has taken the kick to the referee before any trickery has begun , while it is not truly required, a referee should be watching to see it as such, in my opinion, that is not subterfuge, it is in fact an open admission to the opposition hey there come and get the ball.

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