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Question Number: 27439

Law 1- The Field 5/17/2013

RE: Adult

surendra kumai of Darjeeling, west bengal India asks...

what are the main purpose of GOAL AREA & PENALTY AREA ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Surendra
The penalty area has a number of functions
1. Any Law 12 penal offence committed inside the penalty area results in a penalty kick
2. The goalkeeper is legally entitled to touch the ball with his hands inside the penalty area.
3. It brings order to restarts such as a goal kick, defensive free kick in that the attacking team must leave the penalty area and the ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area.
As regards the goal area its main purpose now is to define the area for a goal kick and any defensive free kick to be taken. In addition any indirect free kick to the attacking team or dropped ball inside the goal area is taken from the 6 yard line which is part of the goal area.
At one time the main purpose of the goal area was that a goalkeeper could not be legally charged inside the goal area. Once outside the goal area the goalkeeper could be charged. That is not longer the case so its use is now limted to restarts only.

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