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Question Number: 30504

Law 3 - Number of Players 6/11/2016

RE: Fan College

Jack of Cwmbran, Torfaen Wales asks...

A player shoots from distance and it's going narrowly wide. A fan with great reflexes sees this and throws a bottle at the ball, deliberately altering its flight path and sending it into the goal. Does it stand?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jack
No goal can be awarded here. The referee must stop play and restart with a dropped ball from where play stopped. As described that is likely to be anywhere in the goal area where the object made contact with the ball.
Now under the new laws if the ball is destined for the goal and the outside interference does not prevent the ball entering the goal the referee can now award the goal. Previously it had to be a dropped ball. Thankfully referees do not have to deal with this very often or at all.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Jack,

There has been an interesting change in the new laws - however it doesn't directly affect your question. Under the old laws, any contact from an object thrown onto the field the has even the slightest impact upon the ball would result in a drop ball for outside interference. So, if the ball is going into an open goal, hits the water bottle and bobbles up, means it must be a drop ball. Not entirely fair perhaps.

Under the new laws, if the ball was already going into the goal and it hits an object, then if the ball continues into the goal the goal is awarded. Your scenario is different - you have asked about a ball that's missing the goal, strikes the object, then heads into the goal. This would be a drop ball - it would be unfair for a goal to occur where it wasn't going to occur before due to the actions of a spectator.

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