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Question Number: 31527

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 5/11/2017

RE: Amateur Adult

Iordan of Adelaide, SA Australia asks...

What constitutes illegal feinting in the taking of freekicks or penalty kicks?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

The most common illegal feinting at a penalty kick would be stopping just at the moment of the kick with the goalkeeper diving in anticipation of the shot and the ball then bring kicked in the opposite direction.
Other examples include
the player runs past the ball and then backs up to take the kick unexpectedly
the player excessively changes direction during the run to the ball.
the player makes any motion of the hand or arm which is clearly intended to misdirect the attention of the goalkeeper.
Those are extremely rare yet the law is sufficiently broad to all the referee to deal with what he deems to be unsporting behaviour.
I do not think I have ever seen or anticipate illegal feinting at a free kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Iordan,
I am not aware of anything specific that would constitute illegal feinting at a free kick. In fact, the law states that feinting is allowed, as follows:

''Feinting to take a free kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of football.''

I suppose that theoretically, a player might do something so unsporting that it could be penalised but I'm having difficulty imagining anything along those lines and I don't recall ever having seen a genuine case of this.

At a penalty, the law only specifically mentions one kind of feinting, as follows, ''feinting to kick the ball once the kicker has completed the run-up'' and then goes on to point out that ''feinting in the run-up is permitted.''

Ref McHugh does mention a couple of other possible infractions but again, I have to confess that I have never seen any of those occur and/or be penalised and I would be a trifle surprised if I did.

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