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Question Number: 31163

Law 13 - Free Kicks 1/8/2017

RE: county in younger years Adult

Peter Derby of Portsmouth, Hampshire uk asks...

If im taking a free kick can I play it off the ref and then take control of the ball again? Like playing a 1 2 off him.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Peter ,
NO you can not! A player cannot play the ball a SECOND time on a free kick without the ball contacting an opposing player or teammate first
The referee for all intents and proposes is like a goal post on the field. Ball hits it, ball is still in play BUT there is no TOUCH that allows you to regain control if you are taking any sort of restart! If the ball strikes a referee during live play as long as he was uninjured play simply continues!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Peter,
The law says that the player taking a free kick ''must not touch the ball again until it has
touched another player.''

The referee is not a player.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
The referee is just part of play such as the frame of the goal, corner flagpost etc so for a player to play the ball a second time at a restart it needs to touch another player. If the player play the ball off the referee and then plays it again it is a double touch infringement.
Now this happened to me recently in a game and the play was not intentional. As it was a quick free kick I did not have time to get out of the way as I was moving away. Anyway the kicker played the ball again and dribbled the ball away. I noticed that his team mate was still down so I stopped play. I restarted with a retake after dealing with the injury and it was not questioned by the opponents nor would I expect it to. Technically had I not been able to stop play for reasons such as an injury, not ready etc the double touch infringement would be called. It would be akin to a player say at a corner kick playing the ball off the corner flag to restart play.

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