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Question Number: 31770

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/9/2017

RE: DIII College College

Jack Porcello of Abington, MA USA asks...

After scoring a goal in a close game, the attacking player enters the goal to retrieve the ball. There is contact with the keeper who is also trying to get the ball. Both players are vying for possession of the ball. The keeper was cautioned for delaying the restart of the game. What is the correct call?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jack,
the CR and AR need to provide greater diligence at the scoring of the goal.
The restart is in favour of the keeper's team.
HIS team was scored upon. He is likely peeved he allowed a goal.
The CR can add any time SHOULD it be necessary.

The attacker likely excited and possibly trying to whip up even greater momentum or perhaps still behind or needing another goal want to get the ball rolling so to speak. THEY have NO special right to grab the ball or run into the goal and contest the keeper for the possession of the ball.

For WHY the keeper needed to be cautioned and shown the yellow card requires me seeing what transpired not guessing. If there was interaction between the two teams trying to grab the ball from the keeper's hand is in MY opinion also a possible cautionable action as it is USB creating additional tensions and aggressive reactions.

Only the CR can explain WHY the keeper received a caution for delaying the restart and not the attacker but the keeper is under NO law to return the ball to the other team given it is his team's restart. The keeper will have to forward the ball at some point in a timely fashion to the centre circle so the opposition should just ready themselves for kick off as quickly as they can allowing the referee to decide if the keeper IS in fact delaying the restart purposely.


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jack
Let me begin by stating a key fact. The kick off belongs to the conceding team and the scoring team has no rights to the ball. What happens is that the scoring team in order to speed up the restart goes to retrieve the ball and that can and does cause confrontation. The confrontation can be unpleasant to the point of unsporting behaviour which is a caution.
In these situations the referee has to be vigilant and as soon as a goal is scored needs to manage the situation by stepping in to deal with the confrontation between the players. That can be the use of strong words to move away and desist, use of the whistle or the referee demanding tne ball.
A number of years ago FIFA tried an experiment at an International Youth tournament that resulted in an automatic caution for any attacker that touched the ball after a goal. It did partly work but not all the time particularly in situations where the ball was not contested for and the retrieval just happened. Anyway the experiment was short lived yet it pointed out that the scoring team has no rights to the ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Since this was a college game, the clock was stopped with the goal. The caution should not been for delay of game, but for unsporting behavior by the goalkeeper.

However, from what you indicated, I do not understand what the unsporting behavior might have been. The attacker should not have been the one retrieving the ball.

From all that you have presented, the attacker not the goalkeeper should have been cautioned for unsporting behavior. The attacking team player should have been going to his/her half of the field.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

One of the reasons listed in Law 12 for a caution for delaying the restart of play is:
'kicking or carrying the ball away, or provoking a confrontation by deliberately touching the ball after the referee has stopped play'

This is what has come down after the experiment referred to by Ref McHugh was ended.
I don't have the exact words that were used after that experiment ended, but as I recall it still said something about provoking a confrontation when it wasn't your ball.

I'd guess the ref only knew the current wording of the Law, thought that the keeper was the 'provoking' party, and applied the words as written. And we know that all too often, IFAB leaves out words that 'everyone knows' and they think the point is made so 'everyone' understands. The 'everyone knows' part that isn't stated is that the goalkeeper's team has the ball for the restart, so it's the other player that should be keeping mitts off.

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