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Question Number: 31334

Law 17 - The Corner Kick 3/10/2017

MDSA of Orange County, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 31227

Had something occur for first time in 30 years of reffing. On a corner kick, the player who had gone to fetch the missed shot was still 5 yards off the FOP when the kicker took a short CK. The off the FOP player ran on and collected it about 12 yards from the flag. None of the defenders had anticipated this and he found himself wide open ready to shoot or cross. It seemed unfair and against the spirit of the game. So, the AR raised his flag. However, it couldn't have been for Offside, as there is no offside on a CK. This would have been for entering the FOP without permission or unsporting behavior. A Caution didn't seem fair either. Play was resumed with an IFK. Is this all correct?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

I would have to say NO!

the reality that a player is entitled to be off the FOP a part of normal play is certainly in effect at the taking of a corner where the ball is being retrieved. so no worries there.

The suspect action of whether this additional ploy of taking a free kick while a player is outside the boundaries is determining if it was tactical to gain an unfair advantage is likely going to be a matter of opinion by the match referee.

It is somewhat dependant on whether the official is wanting to signal the corner with a whistle. Often the scrums that develop in front of goal create this need to do so. The official may want to hold things up.

However it is NOT against the LOTG for an attacking team to simply go ahead and take the corner quickly. The off the field player is in fact expected to return ASAP to rejoin play so this maneuver has me doubting whether any actual law was broken other than it seems unseemly?

I think a retake of the corner is a far better option if you are stopping play but NOT cautioning. Referee maintaining he was not ready for the restart aka ceremonial restart.
It is not permissible for a player to leave the FOP as a deception but retrieving a ball hardly qualifies. I am not a fan of the INDFK restart as I do not see where in law it fits unless we are cautioning showing a yellow card . I also agree with you it could be a stretch to see this as cautionable unless the run was disguised in some way by running in behind the goal to pop up on the other side?

If the player re-enters from the goal line and becomes involved in play before the next stoppage in play. A player who deliberately leaves the field of play and re-enters without the referee's permission and is not penalised for offside and gains an advantage, must be cautioned.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

This question was asked recently. See question 30851
There is nothing in the Laws that prevents this from happening. The player had gone to get the ball which is allowed and I assumed tossed it to the kicker who played the ball to the returning player. I see nothing wrong with that as long as the kick was taken correctly and it just happened because of the circumstances. The defending team sees both players out there so they should be switched on to mark up.
To make this point have a look at this video. Also it happens quite a bit at throw ins and it attracts little attention as the returning player may be close to the FOP at the time of the throw.
In the game between Hull City v Liverpool Hull had a left footed player and a right footed player positioned to take the corner kick, both off the field of play . No one was concerned about this not least Liverpool who probably felt that the tactic took one player out of the mix. So the referee correctly allowed this to happen. Had it been played short there would have been no issue either although Liverpool had only one player defending the short corner which was poor defending.
In respect of your situation there could not be an IDFK restart without a caution. If the incident did not merit a caution then play should have continued. The only other possible restart was a retake on the basis that the conditions if the kick were not in place to the satisfaction of the referee.

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