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Question Number: 31645

Law 3 - The Players 7/19/2017

Nikita of Moskow, Russia asks...

Does the goalkeeper have the right to take the ball in someone else's penalty area?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Nikita
Thanks for the question.
Outside his OWN penalty area a goalkeeper is just like any other outfield player. He can only use his hands in his own penalty area. Should he handle the ball in the opponents penalty area it will be called as deliberate handling punished by a defensive direct free kick. Should the GK choose to head or kick the ball like any other outfield player there is no offence and play continues.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Nikita,
you must be excited at the upcoming world cup coming to Russia!

The keeper is permitted the special use of his hands only inside his OWN penalty area! He is permitted to go anywhere he wishes on the field as one of the 11 opposing team players, even into the opposing PA but he CANNOT use his hands. If he does so deliberately, the DFK will be awarded to the opposing team and even a possible yellow card & cautioned for USB depending on the why or how it is done. Remote possibility for red card for DOGSO by handling just not likely inside the opposing half. Remember it is an impossibility for a keeper to be guilty of DOGSO H INSIDE his OWN PA! It is possible outside!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Nikita,
It depends what you mean by 'take.' If you mean deliberately take hold of the ball using their hands or arms then no, they cannot.

However, if you mean play the ball with the feet or other part of the body (except the hands or arms) then yes, they can. In fact it is relatively common in the last couple of minutes of a knock-out game if a team is losing, to see their goalkeeper go up into the opposing team's penalty area for a corner or free kick, to try to help their team score a goal. So long as they don't use the hands or arms to deliberately contact the ball, this is perfectly acceptable.

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