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Question Number: 28871

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 10/20/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 26032

I noticed that referee Dennis Wickham said that a goal could not be scored until at least 2 players touched the ball. Since there is no 2nd touch violation on a dropped ball, couldn't one player score a goal by touching it twice? i.e. 2 kicks or a kick & a header?

Thanks in advance,

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

You are correct. The player can't score on the first touch after a dropped ball, but can on the second. The effect ends up being nearly the same for someone seeking to take advantage of a so-called "fair play" restart. Just give the ball a slight kick and then blast it in.

This seems to be something IFAB didn't consider when they created this solution to a semi-existent problem. Or maybe they did consider it, and only really wanted to not count a goal on a long-ball back to the keeper that took a weird bounce over his head and into the goal.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
we are going to have to hire you to review our answers! You are sharp man another great spot. You have a knack for sorting out the nuances of the LOTG. If we address the reasoning often a drop ball is given back to one team by the other as a form of goodwill. If we assume the word directly means only the player taking the drop ball is restricted from scoring then perhaps we will not allow a goal to be scored if the drop was uncontested as a matter of principle. Yet if it was contested and the player getting control then takes a shot or dribbles the ball then shoots, without the ball being played by any other player and a goal is scored it could be legal to restart with a kick off. AS in many black hole situations the laws are at times at odds with gravitational pull

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
The Law states that if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents' goal, a goal kick is awarded. Referees are left to interpret directly and it has caused some debate among referees as to what is meant by the IFAB wording of directly. IFAB stated at the time that the reason for the law change was that there had been a number of occasions where goals have been scored from 'uncontested' dropped balls. This it said had put a great deal of pressure on the referee as he had to allow the goal to stand. IFAB further stated that this then caused the unseemly situation where the opposition allow the team to score from the kick off without any players trying to stop them in order to rebalance the game.
For me a player touching the ball to say reposition it for a kick and then kicking it into the goal is directly and within the spirit of the Law for a goal kick to be awarded. If it involves another player then that is a different matter.
I might add that there has been an example of a player Adriano of Shakhtar Donetsk getting suspended for this by UEFA and I recall Arsenal offering Sheffield United a replay for such an uncontested goal in the English FA Cup. IMO the referee needs to manage these situations very carefully so that it does not arise.

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