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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35565

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/5/2024

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


The ball crossed into the penalty area by the attacking team, the defending goalkeeper punches the ball away, runs behind the ball, dribbles the ball with his/her feet a couple of times and grabs the ball again inside the penalty area. Is it legal or is it an indirect free kick offence?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
As described it is perfectly legal. The goalkeeper at no time had control or possession of the ball as it was punched away.
After that the goalkeeper only used his/her feet so it was perfectly okay to pick the ball up after dribbling it for a time.

It would only be an offence if the goalkeeper had possession / control of the ball in the hands, released it into play and then picked the ball up. A parry is deemed control yet it is usually executed with open palms. On a parry the ball never moves far from a goalkeeper yet with a punch it does.
Having said that I see goalkeeper parries that are not punished and the opponents dont even bother to appeal. Not sure when I saw the last parry and pick up called.
I personally have only one recollection of a parry that was a clear attempt to use up time where the goalkeeper parried a very weak shot with his hands to his feet, dribbled the ball away to the corner of the penalty area, stood there until challenged and then picked it up. The opponents appealed and I gave the IDFK.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Crebs
sounds ok!
Punches are not usually considered a knock down open hand palming aka "Parry" that the keeper could easily have caught. Usually a punch is a desperate clearance, reaching up and over defenders/ attackers in the way that were blocking or preventing the keeper from obtaining clear ball control on a save

While it would be odd that punch could be determined as a parry if the referee truly saw it as such & be deemed a control ball possession with a near instantaneous release, thus an INDFK should the ball be handled by the keeper inside their own PA before another player made physical contact with the ball. It would likely be SO obvious as to be laughable!

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