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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35353

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 2/15/2024

RE: Adult

Haluk Karacabey of London, United Kingdom asks...

Dear Refs,

My question is regarding the corner rule.

If a player somehow directly kicks the ball outfield (due to curve for example) when taking a corner, without the ball ever coming into the field upon the kick, would a retake of the corner be awarder or a goal kick? I remember seeing in professional level on TV that referees allowing the retake due the ball not having gone into the area upon the player taking, and do appreciate your professional expertise insights on the matter.

Thank you for your input and assistance in advance.

Kind regards,

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hello there Mr. Karacabey
good to hear from you

Law 17: the corner kick is pretty basic, the ball is awarded to the attacking team if the defenders' last touch, causes the ball to go into touch by completely crossing the plane of the goal line either on the ground or in the air .

The restart requires the ball to be stationary on or within the designated corner 1 yard arc on the ground.

The ball is in play when it is kicked and discernably seen to move from a to b.
The ball can roll slightly or be blasted across the face of goal, HOWEVER, it is MANDATORY that the ball be placed within the confines of the arc to some degree to start.

The CORNER free kick CAN NOT occur unless that is where the ball is spotted.
If the ball is NOT spotted correctly and the player attempts to put it in play it will be retaken NO matter which side of the goal line or line of flight the ball might take.

The fact is not all corner kicks are whistled in to start but the AR is usually there on their side the CR must look over to verify their side .

The fact a corner can in theory be taken quickly unless the referee has reason to not do so!
It might account for the retake you mentioned?
In the ball was not set properly or the referee was not ready to proceed?

Another issue on corners, perhaps not relative to your query here, but could result in a restart is the infamous silly trick play of the double tap where one player KICKS the ball into play (secretively or barely noticeable ) and another dribbles it, often cause confusion and is ordered retaken due to no one really sure what occurred or an INDFK for a 2nd touch but that usually occurs on the dribble.
Just idle speculation, only the officials of that match know 100% why they did what and why!

Just know in general there is almost no reason to take a correctly taken free kick it generally is a goal kick or INDFK out for the defense if the corner kick is not done correctly.

I ask you also keep in mind if the referee is NOT prepared to allow play, he likely COULD force a retake by not accepting it, due to say dealing with a caution or sorting a problem. It is WHY whistling (albeit not required) in Corner kicks is a good idea, as it is more manageable due to the distractions that COULD cause a possible retake or loss of possession!

It might help to imagine the goal line as a 5 inch wall of water extending straight up into the sky forever . If the ball is the least bit wet it will be considered as INSIDE the FOP (field of play) and NOT into touch, which is COMPLETELY outside the field of play!

The corner kick ball flight will ALWAYS begin with the ball ON the FOP within or in contact with the ARC if even marginally . In essence the ball will be wet!
Now once it begins its journey if it 100% COMPLETELY goes INBEHIND the goal line to where not even the outer curve is wet.

If it starts inside the FOP , goes out into touch, then reenters the FOP again as the ball flight swerves its way into the face of goal, that is a dead ball and a goal kick restart.
The proactive referee should blow immediately to stop the players from thinking otherwise and trying to attack the ball or each other unnecessarily! Why?
THAT ball is now into touch and it will be a GOAL kick for the defenders! You do not want to deal with misconduct created by the delay.
Goal mouth scrums are always contentious!

It is NOT a retake, it is a loss of possession!
The attackers last touched the ball before it COMPLETELY exited the FOP over the defenders' goal line on a poorly taken corner kick!

I can recall being AR, trying to shield my eyes into a glaring sun as the corner kick occurs from well within the FOP corner arc with the ball skirting the goal line in a high fast in-swerve arc but in no way was I sure 100% if it did completely go out or not. There was a cry by defenders it was out , the CR looked at me and I shrugged shook my head, put my hand over my eyes and implied I was blinded. The defending keeper grabbed it in the air as no whistle had sounded and the referee wisely just let play on as my peers on the opposite side later claimed it was out by a good ball width . When I noted such as a CR, I often would go into the opposite corner (against normal PA positioning recommendations mind you) so I could see and had the AR run in a bit to catch the misconduct I might miss by leaving my central position. This was important as the team had a inswing kicker and there was debate on in or out as it made its way into the PA area.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Haluk
Thanks for the question
The answer is that the restart has to be a goal kick.

The ball has been placed on the field of play inside the corner arc and the ball has been kicked out play from the corner kick.

As to your recollection of a retake it certainly was not for a correctly taken kick from inside the arc and kicked directly out of play.
Indeed if it goes over the goal line and swerves back into the penalty area the restart is a goal kick as the assistant will flag for the ball leaving the field of play over the goal line.

There can be other reasons for a retake
The ball was moving at the kick.
The ball was not placed inside the arc
The referee wanted to hold up play to speak to players
The referee was not ready for the kick due to some other reason.

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