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Question Number: 35495

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 5/6/2024

RE: NPL Under 16

David Kennedy of Akron, Ohio USA asks...

Hi, in one of my tournament games, we got awarded a PK and scored it however, the ref called encroachment on one of our players. This player put one foot in the box and then pulled it out before the kick was taken. The PK was scored directly. I am wondering if this was in-fact encroachment.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI David,
the referee gives the signal to begin the Pk, generally a whistle, once everyone is in their correct place, but the ball is in play only when it is kicked. If true, the situation seems a little odd? That having a single foot step over the PA line would result in a retake situation? Unless there was some dark history with cat and mouse actions by the player and the referee? The trifling aspect of a step in and out prior to the kick being actually taken, given play has not started until the ball is kicked and moved? Perhaps something was said or done to distract the keeper? Although that would likely be cautionable as USB. So was the PK retaken?

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
The technical answer is perhaps yes. As described the answer hinges on when the player stepped back out of the penalty area. If he was inside at the kick it is technical encroachment which results in a retake once a goal is scored.

Now for me the decision reads as picky and probably does not need to be called as the step situation reads like it had little if any impact on the kick particularly if the player stepped out again.
Even games that are subject to VAR at the highest level states that encroachment offences and other infringements which do not directly affect whether a goal is scored cannot be reviewed.
So evenIFAB is saying that only offences that AFFECT a goal should only be called.

I recall watching something similar in an England Women’s U19 game v Norway and the referee called a step in and sort of back out again as encroachment. It went pear shaped after that for the referee as she then awarded an IDFK instead of a retake after being confronted by Norway who insisted on the IDFK. That error in restart resulted in a protest which was won by England.
Had the referee *ign0red* the incident as trifling it would have never have been questioned.

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