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Question Number: 35561

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/3/2024

RE: Retired Premier Referee Adult

Ibrahim Ishiaku of Lokoja, Kogi Nigeria asks...

Good day.
A goalkeeper handles the ball out side his penalty area. What should be the decision of the referee?
When can it be a sent-off offence, cautionable offence or no offence?
Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ibrahim
As we know a goalkeeper cannot handle the ball outside the penalty area. To do so is an offence punishable by a direct free kick just like any other player.

As to any further sanction the referee has to consider the factors present at the offence.
If the offence met all of four conditions for denying an obvious goal or goal scoring opportunity it is a dismissal and a red card.
If the offence stops a promising attack only it is a caution.
If it is just a simple offence such as misjudgment of position such as stepping over the penalty area line with the ball in hand there is no disciplinary sanction just a free kick.

Like any other handling offence it is not an automatic card. A referee has to considering the circumstances of the offence and any unsporting condition that may or may not be present

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ibrahim,
appreciate the interest .
A keeper OUTSIDE his PA is NO diffrent than any other player . He loses the use of his hands thus like all outfield players if he uses them deliberately to control /touch the ball it is an automatic DFK from that point on the FOP.

The decision to award the DFK is now complicated by the actions of why and if the criteria of DOGSO-H are present.

As you indicated, we can just award the free kick, for something innocuous, perhaps a reach out to stop a ball from exiting the FOP or an accidental step out of the PA due to faded lines and so blatant as not to be trifling or doubtful.

We can caution show the yellow card for USB for breaking up a promising attack

We can show the red card and send the keeper off reducing his team by a player if the 4 criteria of DOGSO are met.

To determine if an offense meets the DOGSO criteria, the following must be considered: Distance between the offense and the goal. General direction of the play. Likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball. Location and number of defenders.


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