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Question Number: 31670

Law 13 - Free Kicks 8/2/2017

RE: Sele t Adult

Peter Babbage of Hjorring, Denmark asks...

Watching the Man U v Sampdoria friendly. Blind passes the ball back and De Gea who has to stop it with his hand from going in the net. Indirect free-kick awarded to Sampdoria. Now he stopped the ball practically on the goal-line but the ifk was taken from the 6 yard line. I would have thought this to be incorrect. Whilst it would have been farcical for it to be taken exactly where the offence occurred surely it should have been taken 10 yards back not 6 so the defenders would have been the correct distance away. Being so close to the goal was in my opinion detrimental to Sampdoria as they now had so little of the goal to aim at. Far more difficult for the ref to monitor them being the required distance too as even at 6 yards away, they were bound to creep forward. ( as it happened the ball did hit a defender, leading to Utd going directly up the field and scoring!

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Any IFK offense committed by a defender inside the goal area (the 6-yard 'box') results in the free kick being taking at the nearest point on the 6-yard line. Any defenders must be 10 yards away, or positioned on the goal line between the goal posts.

You don't say where the defenders were located, but everything else you describe was done exactly in accordance with Law 13.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Peter
While the notion of being too close to the goal might limit the opportunity Law 13 specifically states that the IDFK is taken from the six yard line so the referee was 100% correct in his decision.
Now that raises the question of the attacking teams tactics in such situation. Most teams focus on going forward in such situations whereas there is nothing to prevent the attacking team kicking the ball back from the 6 yard line or adopting some other ploy such as legal feinting which in effect may open up the opportunity.
Here are some examples

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Peter,
there are interesting aspects of an INDFK offence occurring inside the opposition PA!

Number 1: If the distance to the goal line is less then ten yards the defenders MAY stand under the crossbar between the posts along the goal line.

Number 2: If the INDFK occurs inside the 6 yard goal area the ball is brought straight back to the goal area line that parallels the goal line as the restart point so no indirect free kick will occur closer than 6 yards .

The relaxation of the ten yard distance does come with the realization that the INDFK requires a SECOND touch to enter the goal, the kicker might just HAMMER the ball right at the close proximity wall hoping to catch a deflection off a defender or more likely is the short roll back pass where a second kicker places the ball high into top corners away from the keeper who can jump raising his hands . The defenders along the goal line must be careful of not using their hands as the DFK penalty and the send off for DOGSO is a severe consequence. But from that short distance I suspect most defenders hands are lower placed for protection

Even though the defenders ARE permitted closer then 10 yards they still must be the minimum 6 yards on a goal area INDFK as they CAN NOT BE OFF THE GOAL LINE.

One thing I notice is far too often the INDFK awarded is tenuous as to the need but IF we are awarding the INDFK for a deliberate kick to the keeper then at least ensure the defenders do not break early off the line making the attempt look foolish.

Not all all the restarts were from the goal area line but I see WAY to many defenders far too close to start and breaking early

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