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Question Number: 20953

Law 15 - Throw In 3/10/2009

RE: Premier League Adult

Joe of , UK asks...


I was watching a match from a couple of years back (2006/2007). It was an English Premier League match. One player was standing quite close to the opposition player throwing the ball in - in an attempt to put him off. I heard the commentator say it was a legal move, however. So has the minimum distance rule changed? Or did the ref somehow get it wrong?

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

It has never been legal to interfere with the thrower.

Because referees were not punishing this transgression enough or correctly, FIFA changed the Law very recently to make sure referees understood what was needed. Now the defender must be at least 2 yards away which helps prevent interference.

By the way, listening to what commentators say and taking it as true is a sure way to buy ocean front property in Arizona.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

This was changed 31 May 2006 to not nearer than 2 M so if the match was played in the 06/07 season the player infringed Law 12, Failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in. For doing this a player is cautioned and shown the yellow card, or at least should have been...


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Even before the Law was changed to a minimum of 2 meters it was misconduct to interfere with the taking of a throw-in. You are usually safe to ignore what soccer commentators say as they are more often wrong than right.

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