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Question Number: 32583

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 7/9/2018

RE: Youth to adult, rec and competitive

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

Drop ball to keeper question. At about 90 minutes in the Russia-Croatia game, there was a collision or something that caused the ref to stop play when the Croatia keeper had the ball in his hands.

Once things were settled, the ref simply dropped the ball to the keeper, who picked it up and played it out to his team.

I have done this from time to time, when perhaps the keeper has landed roughly, or has a loose shoelace. I stop play and tell the keeper I will be giving him/her the ball back, once things are sorted.

I don't invite the other team to take part, though Law 8 says 'the referee cannot decide who may contest a dropped ball or its outcome.' What would I do if the other team wanted to be involved?

If I am wrong, then so was the ref in the World Cup game. Please discuss.

Here's part of the Cup sequence.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
My experience is that when the goalkeeper had possession of the ball there is no desire on behalf of the opponents to contest a dropped ball particularly when all that happens is the ball is given back.
So in those dropped ball situations all that happens is that the DB brings the play back to where the game was when play was stopped.
Now if a team wants to contest the DB the referee has no power to prevent that contest which is what the Laws state.
In the WC game with no opponent looking to participate in the dropped ball the referee simply dropped the ball and play continued. The fact there was no opponent there meant that the referee had no part nor decision to make who contested the DB.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Barry,
it is not recommended to stop play while the keeper is in possession of the ball as it INVITES the potential for confrontation. As you correctly point out nothing to stop the opposition from contesting the drop. Yet as you also point out it can occur for certain reasons.

That said, Fair Play conduct. Teams understands in principle to just walk away and forget about it.

You as referee simply drop the ball, nothing says you HAVE To whistle a heads up or invite, just outstretch the hand and turn it over.

ONLY if you physically intervened preventing a participation could it be wrong!

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