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Question Number: 26673

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/23/2012

RE: Not even a 'football (soccer) fan' Other

D, Field of Benoit's Cove, Newfoundland Canada asks...

In an attempt to stop a ball going 'out of play' a player leaves the 'field of play' and from that 'off the field of play' position succeeds in kicking the ball when it is partially over the touch or goal line.
Is that play legitimate?
My contention is that 1) the player left the 'field of play' deliberately and without the refere's permission. 2)By his actions the player gained a tactical advantage in that from that position he was able to prevent the ball going 'out of play' he would not have had ability had he stayed within the 'field of play'.
Should I be correct what is the referee's call and why?
Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The Laws of the Game allow players to leave the field of play as part of normal play. That includes taking a restart such as a corner, free kick on the touch line, goal kick etc. It also includes players running beyond the touch line / goal line to go around opponents or sitautions where momentum has carried them off the field of play or in the situation you describe to endeavour to keep the ball in play.
So yes in your scenario the player left the field of play deliberately yet he does not require permission to do so nor is it an offence with the refereeing allowing play to continue..

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Since this happened during the normal course of play, it is allowed. The player leaving the field of play is expected to return quickly.

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