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Question Number: 30627

Law 3 - Number of Players 7/23/2016

RE: Adult

christopher fernandes of Farwaniya, Kuwait Kuwait asks...

When a referee awards a penalty during the match, can a player replace the goalkeeper for that penalty only? if yes does he change his jersey....

Please explain.


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Christopher
Yes that is allowed under the Laws of the Game and the player must change into the goalkeepers jersey. The player will remain the goalkeeper until the referee is requested to allow the change back which will be at the next stoppage which could be a kick off, goal kick etc. So the wearing of the jersey is the decision as to who is the GK . When that putting on of the jersey happens the goalkeeper is identified by the wearing of that unique shirt. So there could be the situation where the GK saves the ball at a penalty kick, punts it downfield and the opponents attack again. Who is the GK now ? The player wearing the shirt and the change back can only happen at a stoppage and with permission of the referee.
it generally only ever happens at Underage where perhaps a better shot stopper is playing outfield. I have never seen it during normal play yet I have seen such a change in Kicks from the Penalty Mark where a bigger more agile player replaced the goalkeeper who was in goal during the game. I did get berated for allowing this by the opponents who felt that the GK could not be changed. Clearly they did not know the Laws.
As a Referee Voshol points out the can be rules of competition at underage that restricts substitutions at certain tines. If there is no ROC substitution rule the goal keeper can also be substituted at that time

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Remember that many competitions with younger players have limits to when a substitution can be made. A penalty kick typically is NOT a substitution opportunity for these competitions (but it would be for a competition playing under the Laws of the Game without modifications). So the new goalkeeper couldn't come from the bench in those events.

But, changing places among the players already on the field is not a substitution. We see this happen all the time: 'Jimmy, fall back and play defense. Joey, you're a midfielder now.' The only difference is that the goalkeeper must be wearing the funny jersey, so a swap in position must happen at a stoppage. I've never seen any rules of competition that limits when players already on the field can change positions.

That said, part of your question asks if the players can change for the PK only. Because a PK is a stoppage, the initial change can be made along with the uniform switch. But the change back to initial positions could also only be made at a stoppage. If the new goalkeeper makes the save and the ball remains in play, the players can't switch back until another stoppage.

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