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Question Number: 34834

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 1/16/2023

RE: Adult

Damien of Athens, Greece asks...

This is a two part question regarding the handball rule. Yesterday the following situtation occured, .

White team was awarded a penalty since the defender kicked him.

My question though has to do with handball rule. The attacking player seems to have touched the ball with his hand in the attempt to steal the ball, prior to getting kicked. So the questions are

1) Any touch of the ball with the hand, directly resulting to goal is penalized. Does that extend to penalties?

2) Is the handball above considered a deliberate play? Is the fact that the hand is close to the body a deciding factor?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Damien
Thanks for the question and the video.

I had to look at the video a few times to see what in fact the call was as I was looking for handling!
The referee clearly awarded a penalty kick for a kick by Blue #7 on the leg of White #21
It is a penalty all day long

Was there a deliberate handling there by White#21? It does not look to me that there was. If it played his arm then a goal could not be scored yet that is not a consideration here as it did not happen. The player has to have his arms somewhere and he has them at his side. in what looks like an arm position which is a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation.

So to answer Q1 that would only apply if the ball ended up in the goal and even at that it would be a tight call to decide if the handling happened before the kick. With VAR in play it would be possible to determine that the handling happened first yet that would be a very rare event.

On your Q2 that does not look like deliberate handling to me. The white player has his arms in a position justified by his play and turns somewhat to anticipate the ball being kicked by Blue. It would not be deliberate handling in my eyes as the White player has done nothing to make himself bigger or moved his arm towards the ball. If he went on to score without the kick it would be ruled out due to the law change which prevents a goal being scored when the ball touches a players arm in any circumstances deliberate or not.

So for me the only possible call here is a penalty kick and a judgment call if the Blue player should be cautioned for a reckless kick. I personally think it was reckless as he clearly kicks White heavily on the back leg. It may have been unintentional yet kicking in this manner has its consequences.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Damien,
deliberate handling as a DFK/PK foul would be the defender's illegal use of hands/arms to either stop or redirect a ball from goal or a scoring option in an attempted clearance. We judge this action to some degree on how the player positions themselves and moves the arms in what we think is a normal action. WE also give some credit to how a ball can be kicked or redirected off a body part and ricochet or deflect into the arm by accident. In the early part of the video the blue defender did nothing wrong when white pounded the ball at him lol.

If as you say an attacker deliberately played the ball with the arm/hand that is a DFK out . If it occurred FIRST before the defender KICKED the attacker and this was recognized by the official as factual then the DFK out is the correct restart and perhaps a caution for the kick as a reckless USB action.

Yet if the ball to arm contact was deemed as accidental and did NOT result in a goal or immediate scoring opportunity whereby a goal is scored the referee would allow play to continue. The fact this same attacker was kicked by a defender resulting in a PK is NOT the same opportunity as a gift from an accidental handling occurrence.

It is a SEPERATE action.

The kick is a DFK event but inside the PA becomes a PK. It generally is not a red card for DOGSO as the PK makes up for it but it could still be reckless. Either way a yellow card could be shown based on the force used reckless or if DOGSO criteria were present but the attempted tackle had some merit of a challenge for ball possession. A kick can be done with no intent to challenge only stop the attack or be VC or SFP so a referee should pay attention to the circumstances.

The LOTG were altered to account for ANY ball/arm contact that results in a advantage to where a goal scores is NOT to be permitted unless it is off a defender into their own goal. No attack can benefit from an accidental handling in the same way they lose possession in a deliberate handling, a DFK out!

I hold the PK was the correct decision. It was looked at by VAR and discussed so they arrived at the decision, I did not see the attacker as slapping down the ball just running into it arms tight to body but the kick into the back despite it could be accidental as the attacker jumped into the fray was pretty severe into the back of that thigh.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Damien,

Thanks for your question

1) No, it does not. It's only when an attacker handles the ball and immediately scores. A penalty is still only a chance at goal. Bear in mind that an attacker accidentally/unavoidably handling the ball then passing to a teammate who scores is also no longer an offence either.

As to whether the handling is a foul....even though it's close to the body, it could still be deliberate. Bear in min that the 'arm' only starts at the armpit down, so the top part is not a handball. It probably hit a little below that, but that's a bit unclear. So, it makes it questionable for me, therefore I'd be inclined to let it go.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Damien.

1. No, the law about any handball by an attacker leading to a goal being an offence, does not apply to penalties. It only applies if the ball goes directly into the net from the player's hand or if that same player scores a goal immediately after the ball touched his hand.

2. As to whether the handling in the video is an offence, I would say probably not. The law says that the referee must consider whether the player's hand/arm position is "a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation" and I think that on balance it probably was.

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