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Question Number: 32260

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 2/25/2018

RE: Under 15

Jeff Banks Reiner of Captain Cook, HI USA asks...

When a goalkeeper is challenging for possession of the ball, are there restrictions on bringing their knee up when jumping for the ball?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jeff
The goalkeeper is treated the same as any other player. So there is no restriction per se on body position. However while challenging for the ball he cannot do so in a manner which is careless or reckless and body position can and does have an impact on that. Sometimes a goalkeeper may raise his knee for protection to prevent an opponents making heavy contact while making a challenge.
In this video the decision should have been a penalty kick and a red card for serious foul play
Have a look at this video
The referee gave a free kick outwards yet it is clear that the goalkeeper uses his raised knee to recklessly challenge for the ball. The decision should have been a foul against the goalkeeper and at least a caution for the keeper if not more. Now some will argue he has a right to go for the ball and that the coached position is to raise the leg to prevent being clattered by the advancing forward. I admit it was a difficult call in real time yet it certainly was not a free kick out. It was either a free to Blue or a throw in.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Jeff,
There is nothing specific in the Laws that deals directly with this but the general restrictions in the Laws related to what a player may or may not do when challenging another player, still apply.

The law has various provisions that could be applicable here. Among these are the prohibition on a player challenging in a manner that is careless, reckless or involves excessive force. A player is also prohibited from doing anything that endangers the safety of an opponent. Then there is the possibility that the offence of playing in a dangerous manner (PIADM) might have occurred - which includes situations where an opponent is prevented from playing the ball for fear of injury.

As always, with all these potential offences it's up to the referee to judge if any of them have actually occurred. It is also possible that a keeper could challenge for the ball with the knee raised without it being an offence, if the referee opines that the action does not fit the required criteria.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Jeff.

the raised knee hop is a taught tactic by some to the belief a keeper is vulnerable in leaping up to catch a ball and can get cut down easily by rash straight on incoming challenges as his hands are raised above his head essentially positioned to get to the incoming highballs, that extra three feet of arms usually enough to out jump an opponent to the ball. The keeper though at stretch is vulnerable to impact and the referee must protect that keeper as soon as he has ball possession the opposition MUST not challenge

I use the word UP not forward to differentiate tactically what the raised knee is, a hard object to run into versus an attack weapon to smash into.

ALL players including the keeper are held accountable for their actions. If those actions prove to be dangerous, careless, reckless, excessive or violent then the referee can attach misconduct to such actions as they deem appropriate.

Keeper who leap forward to punch or catch a ball drive a knee into the back or front or side of an opponent claiming they are simply protecting themselves or need to achieve height are quite frankly full of it! A knee is a weapon, just like an elbow which can be used to fend off a challenge & it has severe repercussions when used in that capacity..

MY colleague REF McHugh included two EXCELLENT videos that by ANY standard are red card PK send offs for using the knees as a weapon. IN the 2014 Brazil World cup final it was perhaps one of the worst missed decisions I have ever witnessed at that level as was the pathetic reasoning by the referee later that it was a normal keeper in action to justify his mistake. AT least when the Holland player placed his foot into the Spanish players chest in the South African WC the referee admitted if he had seen it he would have sent him off.


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