Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 31981

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/2/2017

RE: Adult

Muhammad Rizwan of Abbottabad, Abbottabad Pakistan asks...


here a referee gave a penalty kick to a team the opp goalkeeper clearly hold the attacking team player while he was trying to chase the ball. Offense looks like a caution-able. The opp team protesting against the referee that goalkeeper can hold the opponent and if any fouls done by the goalkeeper is always a free kick not a penalty kick what you say?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Muhammad
A goalkeeper is like any player on the field with the one exception that he can use his hand/s inside the penalty area. So a GK is subject to all Law 12 offences like any other player.
Holding a player inside the penalty area is a penal offence punished by a penalty kick no matter who commits its and that includes the goalkeeper. I suspect a training session on the Laws of the game needs to be taken if such a fundamental principle of the laws is being interpreted incorrectly by teams?
Also if the holding denies an obvious goslsciring opportunity the player is dismissed and that applies to the goalkeeper also.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 31981
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.