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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34911

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/10/2023

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


I have a question regarding the handball rule.

The rule states it is an offence if a player scores in the opponents’ goal:
- directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper
- immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental

When saying “immediately”, does it mean single touch?
Is it an offence if the ball touches the player’s arm accidentally, the player dribbles the ball for 2-3 steps, takes a shot and scores a goal?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
While immediately is not defined it is understood much like advantage in that it is within 3 to 4 seconds which could run to multiple touches.

In your example 2 to 3 steps would certainly be considered immediately so the goal should be disallowed and a direct free kick restart

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs,
funny two quick questions on this same topic lol 34910 was on this same topic.
Much like advantage is calculated within that 2 to 3 possibly 4 second window when a referee decides yes or no if it was achieved, so too this handling issue has an expiry date of a few seconds. A slight variation is if the accidental handling was beneficial for control but that player instead of scoring or shooting were to redirect a pass to a teammate who scored, UNLESS the pass was an immediate tap over to a teammate who_ IMMEDIATELY_ scored in an empty net chances are the goal could count as a new phase of play.

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See Question: 34930

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