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Question Number: 30991

Law 3 - The Players 11/3/2016

RE: Adult

Chris Goodall of Newcastle, England asks...

A goalkeeper is in the opposition's penalty area for a last-minute corner kick. As the kick is taken and cleared behind for another corner, she bangs heads with a defender. Medics rush on to check on both players. The bloodied defender leaves the field to be cleaned up, but the goalkeeper is unhurt and resumes her attacking position. She claims that goalkeepers are exempt from having to leave and reenter the field. This prompts a storm of protest from the outnumbered defenders, but she refuses to move. Should you allow the corner to be taken?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Chris
A team must have a goalkeeper so the game cannot restart without same. While it might seem *unfair* the referee has no choice but to allow the goalkeeper to stay in all circumstances..
Now the bloodied defender does not have to leave once the injury was a result of a collision with the goalkeeper. I would delay the game so that both the defender and the goalkeeper can receive treatment on the field of play as per the Laws.
Occasions when treatment can take place on the field of play are
# a goalkeeper is injured
# a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need attention
# players from the same team have collided and need attention
# a severe injury has occurred
# a player is injured as the result of a physical offence for which
the opponent is cautioned or sent off (e.g. reckless or serious foul challenge), if the assessment/treatment is completed quickly.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Chris,
The unfairness of a collision resulting in an injury if the team unaffected gets a man up for at least a brief period of time was addressed in the recent LOTG juggle. The keeper though does have special privileges in that a team CAN not take the field without one. Hence the keeper can be treated and stay on the field. Technically the LOTG allow for a player in collision with the keeper to ALSO be treated on the FOP. In a situation where the injury is severe or time consuming perhaps a substitution if available might get things rolling but as per the LOTG we can hold up proceeding, within reason, until the player recovers on the FOP instead of forcing them off for treatment. Referees rarely are persuaded to change a decision based on dissent from those that disagree

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Chris,
As my colleagues have pointed out, if a goalkeeper and outfield player have collided, this is one of the allowable exceptions to the part of the Laws that says injured players must leave the field for treatment.

In this case I guess a problem arises because there is a blood injury and the Laws also say that a player who is bleeding or has blood on any of their equipment must leave the field. For me, it would depend on the amount of bleeding and the projected length of time that it will take to treat the player. If the bleeding can be stopped and any bloodied equipment changed quickly enough, the player could be allowed to remain on the pitch.

If this does not look possible though, the player would eventually have to leave the field and if a substitute is not ready or the team does not wish to make a substitution at this point then yes, you would allow the corner to be taken.

This may seem slightly unfair but the the fact that under different circumstances, both players might have been allowed to remain on the field, does not mean the game can just be suspended indefinitely until the bleeding has stopped.

Incidentally, the part about the defenders protesting and the keeper refusing to move is pretty much of a red herring. None of that is in any way relevant.

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