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Question Number: 30201

Law 14 - Penalty kick 3/18/2016

RE: Adult

adomako of kumasi, ashanti ghana asks...

This question is a follow up to question 22815

if a referee has not whistle and a player kicks a penalty from the spot and the keeper saves what happens

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Adomako
The Law requires that a whistle is needed to signal for a penalty kick to be taken. In situations where there is no whistle it is assumed that everything was not ready so the kick is retaken as a whistle is needed. It makes no difference if a goal is scored or not. That might seem somewhat unfair in the one instances where all the conditions of a viable kick were in place such as the ball on the mark, player 10 yards from the ball outside the penalty area, goalkeeper on the line etc and the only possible player that could be disadvantaged is the goalkeeper with no whistle. The procedure though requires that after the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken.
Now in a low level game situation the referee might take account of the circumstances / reactions of the players and perhaps he might step slightly outside the law by ignoring the requirement if everyone else has ignored it and the kick was 100% okay except for a little peep and it absence made no difference whatsoever. He certainly could not do so if a goal was scored / saved under protest and the goalkeeper was complaining that he was not ready when the kick was before the whistle or in a situation where the GK was clearly well off his line before the kick or there were multiple players in the penalty area. Good mechanics by the referee should ensure that this does not happen.
I would safely say though that a penalty kick without the whistle will result in a retake in most if not all situations

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


The kick is not valid and will have to be retaken. A whistle is required before a penalty kick can be taken. This whistle alerts all players especially the goalkeeper that the play is ready to be put into play (kicked). I like to remind the kicker to wait for the whistle, and then make certain everyone is in legal position before sounding the whistle.

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