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Question Number: 27294

Law 13 - Free Kicks 4/6/2013

RE: Adult

Rikki of Southampton, UK asks...

This question is a follow up to question 26809

Where in the Laws of the Game (or interpretation thereof) does it define 'kicking' as only with the feet?

While looking for the answer to this, I found page 119 of the FIFA interpretation of the Laws ( says:
'There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, e.g. if a player:
? uses a deliberate trick while the ball is in play to pass the ball to his own goalkeeper with his head, chest, knee, etc. in order to circumvent the Law, irrespective of whether the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands or not. The offence is committed by the player in attempting to circumvent both the letter and the spirit of Law 12 and play is restarted with an indirect free kick'

This seems to imply that it is unsporting behaviour to use your chest or head to pass the ball back to the goalkeeper! I have never seen anyone punished under this interpretation, but it's in the FIFA interpretation!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rikki
You will find in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game Page 37
" An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:
? touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate""
The key point of what you quote is that the offence is in the 'trick' which is a separate decision for the referee. So if a player manages to 'flick' the ball up so that it can headed, chested etc then that is circumvention of Law 12 which is a caution and an IDFK.
If the ball is simply headed, chested, kneed to the goalkeeper as part of normal play, not a contrived deliberate trick, then there is no offence whatsoever and play continues.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

It's understood that 'kicks' means 'with the foot'. For Americans who need everything spelled out, we find this in Advice To Referees; 'The requirement that the ball be kicked means only
that it has been played with the foot.' That's from 12.20. ANd here under Free Kicks 'The ball is in play (able to be played by an attacker other than the kicker or by an opponent) when it has
been kicked and moved. The distance to be moved is minimal and the 'kick' need only be a touch of
the ball with the foot in a kicking motion or being dragged with the top or bottom of the foot.'

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