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Question Number: 1636

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: rec

George Lippert of Seven Fields, Pa USA asks...

I am having a debate with my past instructor on two items and I would like your opinion:..1. On the FIFA website under questions and answers to the laws of the game, LAW 14, Question 10 states, Question: A player taking a penalty kick feints before kicking the ball. Is this permitted? Answer: Yes. My ex-instructor says this is wrong. Is the FIFA website in error? Please advise...2. My ex-instructor states that anytime the hand moves to the ball even if the player is protecting their face it is deliberate handling. I agree with this but I have found a contradiction in USSF Advice to referees on the Laws of the Game. Law 12 Section 12.9 states: "Moving hands or arms instinctively to protect the body when suddenly faced with a fast approaching ball does not constitute deliberate contact unless their is a subsequent action to direct the ball once the contact is made." Instinctive is not delibearate but isn't this getting into trying to determine the intent of the player? Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be? Please advise..Thanks......George J. Lippert

Answer provided by Referee miller

The answers you seek you have already found in the Q&A and the USSF ATR. As far as your first question is concerned, FIFA has clarified their position on this and it is a change in the previously accepted interpretation of the Law. For your second question, it has long been accepted, and codified in the USSF ATR, that a reflex protection of sensitive body parts, with no time to move out of the way, was not considered a foul.

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

I agree. FIFA has changed this rule, but didn't do very much to tell anyone about it. The top referees in the U.S. only found out in January although FIFA made the change last May. As for the handling question, what can I say? A player who intentionally moves his hand to stop the ball certainly sound like he is intentionally handling the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

2007 Mr Matheson is wrong. As Advice CLEARLY states, it is NOT a foul to instictively and/or reflexively to protect oneself from an onrushing ball. At higher levels of play we expect players to be able to avoid doing this but the younger the players are, the more leeway they get.

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