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Question Number: 30851

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 10/3/2016

RE: Amateur Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

A ball is kicked about 50 yards out of bounds by a defender for a corner kick. Player A runs to retrieve ball and kicks it to Player B who was at the corner kick spot opposite side of AR. Player B kicks the ball about 5 yards in front of him in my direction (AR). Defenders and AR were expecting a big kick into the box and were caught off guard by short kick. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Player A appears and dribbles the ball for the next sequence of play. Play continues with no call. Should there have been a whistle for this play?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

This sounds to me like a classic YHTBT (You Had To Be There) moment. On the one hand, a referee could decide the player had done nothing wrong in initially leaving the field to retrieve the ball and he had to come back on somewhere and so could legitimately choose to allow play to continue (as this referee apparently did).

However, if there is a suspicion that this was done as part of a deliberate ploy to deceive the opposition then the referee could decide on a retake, as referee Voshol suggests.

Overall though, I would need to see something fairly egregious going on, to make me intervene here and without actually having seen this play, my feeling is that the referee was probably well within his rights to allow this to continue.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Players are expected to be on the field, with exceptions for things like retrieving a ball, going around an opponent, taking a throw-in, etc.

Players are not expected to suddenly appear on the field from off the field, even if they were off the field for some legitimate reason.

I would retake the corner kick. While it may seem unsporting, it would be a little bit of a stretch to make that call. After all, the player was coming back onto the field after getting the ball. He just shouldn't have come on at that exact second to take advantage of the play. It maybe looks a bit like a contrived action, since the corner kick was so short. But that's hard to prove.

Just retake the kick since everyone (including you the referee) wasn't ready.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
First of all Player A is entitled to retrieve the ball. The opponents can see Player A run to get the ball who then kicks, throws the ball to Player B. Player B puts the ball down and kicks the ball to a position for Player A to run on to. I personally see nothing wrong with this as A is entitled to return which he does without delay and B takes the corner kick correctly. The defender here are not switched on as they should see that there is the possibility of A who is retrieving the ball and taking it short anyway to B who is heading in that area in which case the defending team should have two defenders out there to close that down or any other play for that matter. Switched on defenders read these situations and when they see two attackers converging in that corner area it needs to be dealt with. They must see the possibility of a short corner in whatever fashion as they have a full on view of the players in that area perhaps unlike an AR who may not see Player A behind him. Referees should not *penalise* quick thinking and quick plays to compensate for poor defending. I would also say that can the referee say for certain that the player was not on the line or close to it as the ball was put into play. He could very well be and that can be difficult to determine at speed.
Now if there was some sort of verbal distraction such as A shouting to leave it and B puts it slyly into play then that is a different matter.
Put it another way. Say it was a thrown in and A retrieves the ball tosses it to B from behind the touch line and B throws the ball to A as he runs in to the field of play would we have an issue with this which does happen? I could not see a referee intervening in either of these situations nor should he.

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