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Question Number: 32691

Law 14 - The Penalty kick 9/7/2018

andy elliot of palm coast, FL usa asks...

Doesn't the rules of a penalty kick state that all players must be outside the area until the ball has been struck, at the recent Italy/Poland game ,there must have been 10 players inside the area when the ball was struck.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andy
Yes probably one of the less enforced part of Law 14 with many referees only choosing to only penalise obvious breaches that impact on the kick and subsequent play.
I have noticed that the threat of the use of VAR where it has been used reduced this practise significantly. It was not evident during the World Cup where VAR was in use.
In the Italy / Poland game UEFA is still using Additional Assistant Referees and not VAR. Where AARs are used the AAR is on the goal line, the assistant referee is in line with the ball which is the subsequent offside line and the referee is to the left of the kicker slightly behind the ball.
In the Italy / Poland game all the officials were in the correct position and it is a decision for the referee and AR to call. Based on the fact that there was no *benefit* from the encroachments and both teams infringed the referee just decided to ignore the encroachments and award the goal.
The referee can be seen to be watching the kick and subsequent play which is the goal area with little attention being paid to the penalty area line by him.
It would have been interesting had there been a rebound out would the AR have signalled for the encroachment or whether the referees instructions were to leave it to him only?

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Andy,
That is indeed what the laws say but as ref McHugh says, it is a part of the law that is more often ignored than enforced. This has been a phenomenon for decades now and various changes in the wording of the law have been tried but unfortunately without the desired effect.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Andy ,
as stated it IS indeed written into the LOTG that no player from either team is permitted to be inside the PA , in front of the ball or within ten yards of the PK spot until the ball is kicked forward by the PK kicker.
It is OBVIOUS that this portion of the Law is set aside as trifling given encroachment rarely affects the ball flight , the PK takers actions or the keeper's action. In the odd cases where it does I have seen referee still choosing to ignore these facts. In cases where referee's have tried to take a firmer stance or a harder line they seem to meet with a lot of grief. My own personal feelings is they should eliminate the encroachment all together putting the PK as a miss thus goal kick out or kick off. No rebounds! Then these encroaching actions are totally inconsequential.

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