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Question Number: 35082

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/26/2023

RE: Senior 5 Adult

Colin Davies of Brighton , Sussex England asks...

Defender passes back to the keeper he has to dive to stop it going into the goal using his/her hand.What decision? Is this a goal scoring situation, thanks.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Colin
Thanks for the question.
This is not a situation that a goalkeeper can be cautioned or dismissed for as it is not a goal scoring opportunity in the context of the DOGSO law. The goalkeeper is expected to save the goal so no disciplinary sanction can be taken on the goalkeeper inside the penalty area for such situations.
The restart is an IDFK only with no card.

There is one exception to this situation which is the double touch handling by the goalkeeper inside the penalty area. The goalkeeper must be sanctioned if this offence stops a promising attack or denies an opponent or the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

The rest of the time it is an IDFK only and no card.

I recall once where a defender kicked the ball from a goal kick by his goalkeeper and I was unsure what the defenders intention was yet the ball ended going back to the goal. I was not sure if he tried to help it on and mis kicked it or he intended to kick it to the goalkeeper. Anyway the goalkeeper had to save the ball by pushing it over the bar. I went with the corner kick and there was no complaints.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Colin,
it is NOT a DOGSO it is only an INDFK with no caution as saving the ball from entering the goal is the Keepers main job. If the ball had scored it is then a kick off and registered as a own goal . You would not award the indfk as the goal is of greater advantage!

The issue of classifying the kick as a deliberate pass to the keeper is the real question. Your choice of the word, pass, fairly reeks of certainty that indeed if this was a deliberate kick intended as such, not a body or head pass or sliding challenge redirecting the ball , then an INDFK is correct. Yet, keep in mind the team benefiting did nothing to truly deserve a shot at goal for what could be a mistake , a slip that the kick redirected it back a bit weirdly. As my esteemed colleague Ref McHugh pointed out when he awarded a corner for a tip out created by an errant pass, it was likely what all expected.

After their 6 seconds of total ball possession the keeper cannot pick the ball up a second time. after releasing the uncontestable ball back into active play! However, they can be forgiven if they react to a mistake as in dropping it accidently, miskick, slip or a goofy winds blow it back. This get out of a bad spot, does not hold to a double touch created by a bad goal kick or free kick. The keeper must be cautioned if this offence stops a promising attack or if it denies a goal, red carded and sent off reducing his team by a player if an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Colin,
The decision here as my colleagues have mentioned should be an indirect free kick. There should be no card of any kind, even if a goal could have been the result if the keeper had not handled the ball. This is because there is a specific mention in Law 12, as follows:

"If the goalkeeper handles the ball inside their penalty area when not permitted to do so, an indirect free kick is awarded but there is no disciplinary sanction."

The reasons for this, as alluded to above, are related to the traditions of the game whereby it is, and always has been, a basic part of the goalkeeper's role in the game to prevent the ball from entering the net, so it would be seen as being against the spirit of the game to sanction them for doing so.

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