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Question Number: 35252

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/26/2023

RE: Amateur Adult

Mühenned Elseyho of Onikisubat, Kahramanmaras Turkey asks...

This question is a follow up to question 35249

The defender touched the ball with his foot, then it went to his knee, then to the goalkeeper, meaning that it finally moved from the defender’s knee to the goalkeeper. Does this end the controversy, and is it the referees’ duties to pay attention to these minute details during the game? Sometimes I think that the law of football is very difficult. .

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

It is and was not clear to me that the ball came of the defenders knee. My answer was based on the referee who was close to play opining that the ball was kicked to the goalkeeper.
If it was kneed then there is no offence as then it was a miscontrol of the ball rather than a deliberate kick to the goalkeeper.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Muhenned,

If the ball comes off the foot, deflects onto the knee then to the goalkeeper, this is permitted handling.

This sort of deflection can be very difficult to spot on the field though, We can see here that not only is the player facing away from the referee, possibly obscuring the view, but there's another player in the way. It doesn't look like a huge deflection. Looks like the ball just bounced down off the knee - it may have looked like the ball just naturally reached the top of its bounce!

Sometimes as a goalkeeper, if you're not under immediate pressure, there's no harm in asking the ref if you can handle it.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Muhenned,
if you were the referee & that was your understanding, then you would be 100% correct to award nothing and allow play to continue. Football laws are not terribly difficult, but they DO depend on the ability and integrity of a competent referee to see and define the action clearly based on their opinion of what has occurred. The angle of view as my colleagues expressed was compromised. The kicking action was noted, but the knee deflection likely went unnoticed. The keeper was most definitely the intended receipt of the pass. As I mentioned in my earlier reply, the attacking team has done nothing to deserve a free shot at the goal, so a referee should be very, very sure when compromising the keeper for acting like a keeper. Here a keeper could call out "Hey referee it deflected off his knee can I pick it up?"

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