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Question Number: 31961

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 10/30/2017

RE: Adult

Douglas Wix of Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom asks...

I am really shocked that after giving a penalty to Liverpool(blatent foul),that neither Kevin Friend nor his assistant could spot the blatent movement off the line by Huddersfields goalkeeper. It was probably around 2 yards! When are we,if ever going to see a retake & a yellow card or are referees instructed NOT to act. Am getting fed up with this law breaking & perhaps someone could tell me why its not being dealt with. Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Douglas ,
so you dislike keepers who try to bounce off the line early. Trying to get a jump on the direction they THINK the ball is headed. When they guess wrong no one cares but when the early movement creates the time or angle to save you are not incorrect that the PK could be retaken and the keeper cautioned.

I have no input into another referee's perspective at the elite level other than they decided the PK kick was poor and the movement did not truly affect the result. We are a group of volunteer referees who cannot always fathom the thinking of why elite referees decided that an injustice is only an inconvenience not a foul but they are constantly monitored and assessed so if there is an issue one would think FIFA would clamp down if dissatisfied.

I can only assure you if we are the official and it is apparent the keeper is well off the line ahead of the shot we would all not hesitate to caution and retake if the kick was saved. I will not speculate f the kick was skied over the bar or wide would we do so 100%. But keep in mind a step out at the time the kick occurs will look like 2 yards as the leg swing and connection to the ball the keeper is also reacting to the start of the ball movement .


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Douglas
Were you really shocked?
Anyway I have looked at this multiple times with freeze frame and it is not the most blatant of encroachment by a goalkeeper. At the moment of the kick the goalkeeper has just moved his right foot off the line so it is around one step which many would see as being trifling.
Add in the Liverpool reaction and there was not one appeal or complaint about the save. It was just a poorly taken penalty kick by Salah.
So for what it is worth here is my take on it
1. Teams have come to accept a certain level of movement. Once there is a tolerance of movement then a *step*or so gets accepted.
2. If there was zero tolerance most every single save would be a retake, maybe multiple times
3. Most missed penalties are due to a poor kick rather than blatant encroachment.
4. To have a sporting chance of a save there has to be some movement.
5. Had Referee Kevin Friend ordered a retake here he would have been berated for doing so.
So for something to change there must be desire for that. I do not see any desire on behalf of the game for change here. I do see change now in the award of penalty kicks for blatant pulling inside the penalty area which many had been clamouring for and the problem was clearly identified. With 8/9 pens out of 10 converted and the ones missed resulting in the poor kick then many do not see a step forward a fraction before the kick as meriting a retake. With the stakes so heavily weighted in favour of the kicker giving GKs a limited sporting chance of a save is seen as acceptable.
So while I can see your point of view, there are many *law breaking* moments in games that are not dealt with such as throw ins yards away from the point the ball left the field of play, standing in front of free kicks, player walking off slowly at substitutions, walking to take restarts in the last minutes of games, goalkeepers taking more than 6 seconds to release the ball, etc. If the Law was to be enforced as stated without discretion games would not be the game we want or perhaps not even get finished with multiple cautions and sendings off
The current Laws has a statement which reads** Football must have Laws which keep the game *fair* as a crucial foundation of the beauty of the beautiful game is its fairness this is a vital feature of the spirit of the game. The best matches are those where the referee is rarely needed as the players play with respect for each other, the match officials and the Laws. **
Most players do not see the actions of GKs at a penalty kick as unfair hence why referees do not need to take action.

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