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Question Number: 32165

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 1/13/2018

RE: Other

mahyoub of nablus, nablus palestine asks...


Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mahyoub
There is nothing to prevent a kicker backheeling a penalty kick provided the ball is kicked forward. Referee Grove has outlined the relevant wording in Law 14. It has been done in the past yet the one that I recall did cause a furore at the time as it was deemed to show a lack of respect which by the way resulted in the scoring team management issuing an apology after the game. The kicking player was cautioned although it was never outlined what for and the player was immediately substituted by his team. The game was over as a contest by that time so there was an element of fooling around by the player. These silly larks happen in my experience when there is little at stake.
As the goalkeeper has moved off the line before the kick the referee will await the outcome of the kick. If a goal is scored the encroachment is ignored. If the encroachment prevents the goal the goalkeeper is cautioned and the kick is retaken.
Perhaps a referee is so focused on the unusual kicking action that he misses the encroachment which results in the outcome of the kick being accepted, goal or no goal.
Here is one in training
Not sure he would try it in a close competitive game or for that matter be allowed

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Mahyoub,
when the LOTG 1st mentioned the INDFK for a back heel I literally believed it was turning your back and using your back heel to score the goal on a PK . I have NEVER seen anyone back heel the PK away from goal as a passing method as the LOTG state the ball MUST be kicked forward. I incorrectly ASSUMED that it was the USB of having your back to the keeper then trying to use a trick to deceive him with the back heel . I had to be told by those with greater awareness and knowledge that I was wrong. No matter I felt this was totally BS.

The LOTG do state that if a PK is taken legally and scores no matter the oppositions illegal actions we go with the goal. Cards can be considered but perhaps unnecessary? If both teams are encroaching or doing something wrong or if only the PK team shooting is doing something illegal then the goal would not count and possibly be retaken or an INDFK out.

While it is true the LOTG do not state which part of the foot CAN be used to propel a ball forward I very much dislike the player turning their back and then swinging a leg to back heel the ball as a tricky feint. Yet the LOTG do say feinting is permissible. I worry a keeper may not be convinced a shot was imminent and was simply off his line waiting for the shooter to take a normal pk.

That said If indeed the PK kick by the back heel was taken with the referee acceptance it was ok to do so the goal would count if scored and if it missed or was stopped by the keeper who was off his goal line at the time. The PK would be retaken and the keeper cautioned shown a yellow card. Hopefully not his 2nd or a red card and dismissal, playing short with a new keeper. .

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Mahyoub,
The Laws specifically permit a penalty kick to be back-heeled towards the goal. Page 111 of the 2017-18 Laws edition states:

''The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward; backheeling is permitted provided the ball moves forward.''

So the only decision the referee has to make in this scenario is how to deal with the keeper leaving the goal line early. If the penalty is scored, no action is necessary but if a goal is not scored, the law says the keeper should be cautioned and the penalty retaken. However as we have frequently seen and as has been mentioned in several questions, there seems to be a marked tendency to only penalise keepers for such actions if the movement is clearly and obviously early and contributes to the penalty being missed.

In fact, it seems to me that the recent change to a requirement for a caution if the keeper infringes the law has somewhat backfired as it may have had the effect of making referees more reluctant to call this particular offence, presumably because they feel a caution is slightly harsh in these circumstances and could lead to a goalkeeper being dismissed (if they end up getting two yellow cards) for something that for many years now, was only seen to require a retake.

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