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Question Number: 27938

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 10/26/2013

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 27904

Suppose a Defender kicks the ball to the GK inside the penalty area & near the goal, but an attacker goes for the ball & has a good chance to score. The GK dives both at the ball & the legs of the attacker, tripping the attacker, but getting the ball.

1) Could the GK be cautioned for breaking up a promising attack?

2) Since the GK was not allowed to use hands, I assume this would be a foul & a penalty kick, correct?

3) What if the GK got to the ball (with hands) & the attacker tripped over the GK. Normally, this wouldn't be a foul, as the GK is expected to make saves. Would that become a foul, since the GK couldn't use hands?

Thanks in advance,

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

If the referee sees the actions as a trip, then you are correct. (#1 might even be DOGSO for the trip.)

However, it might not be a trip, only handling the ball that was kicked to him by a teammate. In that case:

1. No. See quote below, specifically "any misconduct".

2. No - it would be an indirect free kick.

3. Use of the hands makes no difference. If the keeper actively trips an opponent, that's a foul. If the opponent falls over a goalkeeper who is on the ground, that's not a foul. The keeper would still be subject to an indirect free kick for handling the ball that was deliberately kicked by a teammate.

From page 120 of the Laws of the Game, Interpretations and Guidance section:
Inside his own penalty area, the goalkeeper cannot be guilty of a handling offence incurring a direct free kick or any misconduct related to handling the ball. He can, however, be guilty of several handling offences that incur an indirect free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
The question the referee has to ask is what offence happened here and the timing. Timing is critical to the call.
If the referee awards a penalty for a tripping foul inside the penalty area then the referee evaluates that like any other foul on the field of play. If the foul was reckless or tactical then it is a caution and if the penal foul denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity then the goalkeeper is dismissed.
If however the goalkeeper simply handles the ball from the deliberate kick then it is an IDFK only. There is no misconduct inside the penalty area by the goalkeeper for this technical offence.
If the attacker simply tripped over the goalkeeper then there is no offence here and the referee punishes the handling of the deliberate kick to the GK by an IDFK only.
Generally when the goalkeeper gets his hand to the ball first on a deliberate kick to him and there is a coming together of the forward and the goalkeeper afterwards the only offence is the handling of the deliberate kick to the goalkeeper. In this clip the goalkeeper was not cautioned and that was the correct decision.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

The referee has to decide if the keeper is guilty of tripping the attacker. If so, then a penalty kick is awarded and a caution or send off may also be in order.

If the referee decides there has been no trip, then the keeper cannot be guilty of any misconduct for a handling infraction inside his own penalty area. There can be no penalty kick as the restart for any keeper handling infraction inside his own penalty area is always an Indirect Free Kick. In fact, a penalty kick may never be awarded for any keeper handling infractions anywhere on the field, something you should always keep in mind.

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