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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35585

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/19/2024

Crebs Crem of Zagreb, Croatia asks...


If a defending goalkeeper commits an accidental handball in his/her penalty area in the back pass of his/her teammate, would it be a play on or an indirect free kick offense?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Crebs
The wording in Law 12 states

** touches the ball with the hand/arm, unless the goalkeeper has clearly kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play, after:
# it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate
# receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate **

Note it simply says touches so for me any contact on the arm or hand is punished by the IDFK.
One might in an accidental situation determine that it was not a deliberate kick to the goalkeeper in which case there is no offence.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Crebs,
As my colleague ref McHugh has alluded to, the law on a ball deliberately kicked to a goalkeeper by a teammate does not contain any of the language related to a "regular" handling offence in Law 12.

Therefore, for me any touch by a goalkeeper with their hands in the situation you describe would be a breach of this part of the law and should result in an indirect free kick.

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