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Question Number: 26921

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/20/2012

RE: I have reffed rec, select, comp & HS High School

Jeff of greensburg, Kentucky usa asks...

I would like to hear some comments and advice regarding the following situation and in gerneral regarding the issues of keepers and fouls (the difficult calls only):

Attacker dribbled to with one, maybe two, feet of the goal, goalkeeper front-on dived for the ball, attacker goes down, keeper has ball.

no other defenders around. My thoughts: dogso situation, no problem with keepers hands on the ball, but when he threw his body into, it front on, then a foul occured. U14 game.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jeff
The question the referee has to ask is whether the action by the goalkeeper was a foul. If the goalkeeper dived on the ball and won the ball first with his hands then making contact with the player afterwards that is unlikely to be a foul unless the manner of the total challenge was careless, reckless or used excessive force. Referees tend to be lenient towards saves by the goalkeeper at players' feet where the ball is won and where there is limited contact after the ball is won. Any challenge though that is reckless is punished with the DFK or penalty kick
As regards whether the foul denied a goal scoring opportunity the referee has to consider the circumstances and what is called the 4 Ds.
This is what the Laws state and I quote
""Referees should consider the following circumstances when deciding whether
to send off a player for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity:
# the distance between the offence and the goal
# the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
# the direction of the play
# the location and number of defenders.""
From your limited description if the foul happened within a few feet of the goal line in front of goal (1st D), the attacker in control of the ball facing goal (2nd & 3rd D) with no defenders present (4th D) then that would be denying an obvious goal or goal scoring opportunity as all 4D conditions have been met. If any one of the Ds is not met then it should not be a sending off and examples include the player is say facing away from goal, the player does not have control of the ball or likely to do so, defender present who can challenge for the ball or stop the ball, is headed away from goal towards the corner flag etc.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

It's hard for a goalkeeper to throw himself at a ball, catch it with his hands, and leave his body behind. That sort of defies physics. There will be some contact on such balls, and the referee needs to be where they can see what happens - was it normal carry through on the legal tackle for the ball, or was there reckless or violent behavior? No guessing allowed. Just because an attacker goes down does not mean there was a foul committed. He could have tripped over the ball which was now in the keeper's hands. No foul there. Gotta be close enough and at the right angle to see to make a call.

A DOGSO for a foul usually screams at the referee 'CALL ME!!', so if there is any doubt, it probably didn't meet the criteria, assuming the referee has pursued normal education in this regard.

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