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Question Number: 32705

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 9/13/2018

RE: amateur Adult

Philip Keown of Belfast, UK asks...

This question is a follow up to question 23759

Is this still an indirect free kick if the attacker(opposition player) is stood outside the penalty area as therefore they are not obstructing the goalkeeper from punting or releasing the ball from within their specified area. I have been told I'm not allowed to stand 3-4 yards outside the area and attempt to block the ball but surely I am entitled to make an attempt to block the ball if not in the goalkeepers area? If need be they can release the ball from further back in their area unobstructed? Its an interesting take on whats allowed by players outside the area imo.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Philip
An indirect free kick is awarded if a player:prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it .
Law 12 makes no difference if that prevention happens inside or outside the penalty area.
Generally what happens is that the attacker runs after the goalkeeper and tries to position himself in a way so as to block, prevent the ball being kicked. If the goalkeeper goes to edge of the penalty area the area of prevention has been extended beyond the penalty area line. Obviously if the player is far enough back then it is not interfering then play will continue. Most referees will take account of the action of the player before the attempt to block.
You will recall the Karius error in the CL final
The referee opined that the goalkeeper was not interfered with and that Benzema happened to intercept the ball rather than prevent release.
Have a look at this video
Referee Lee Mason felt that the actions were deliberate to prevent the release of the ball by the goalkeeper. My take on it is that the attacker has placed himself subtlety in the GK kicking line. Watch his foot movements. It mirrors the GK. It is not aimless walking about. He has also pressured the GK on the 6 seconds which then hurries him up on the kick from where he is stood. This is a tried and tested move and it did come off previously for the player in another game with the IDFK not being called.
Now here is an example of a referees not cautioning but having a word only
Here are other example where there were cautions issued
The referee decided in the circumstances that the best decision was an IDFK only as there was nothing reckless nor tactical
Now have a look at this one
The referee allowed the goal to stand. It is the exception and perhaps the referee felt that the goalkeeper did not take sufficient care in his actions or that there was *previous* in the game.
Most referees though in my opinion will not allow this to happen which no doubt is your experience.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Phillip,
I agree there is some ambiguity in how we are to evaluate the difference of challenging the keeper when & where he releases the ball from his possession versus just being in his way through momentum or not moving at all.

The LOTG do state an opponent is not to interfere in the release of the ball but is there any true pressure applied until after the ball is released based on the fact a throw of the ball (hand toss) is different than a toss & kick?

I agree it is a slippery slope because we are NOT to permit the opponent from preventing the release.

The question becomes when is the ball ACTUALLY released?

The fact is to punt the ball, it is tossed forward, often outside the PA and kicked before it hits the ground. OR it might be allowed to hit the ground & the keeper will dribble then kick it. If a opponent is nearby at what point can he react to the nearness of the ball itself thinking correctly that ball is NOW in active play? Once the ball is tossed forward be it to punt or dribble, should the opponent NOW not be able to apply pressure or win the ball even BEFORE it gets kicked?

If the ball is not being punted out or dribbled it is THROWN out like a grenade or punched out as a release parry. In both cases the opponent can play that ball once it leaves the hands as that ball is being released back into active play, immediately Although different than a palm slap down or deflection after a save in offside opponents' can not benefit, any onside opponent is free to play that ball.

THe fact th keeper is allowed to bounce the ball is in my opinion a HUGE mistake by FIFA because it does not say what type of bouncing is permitted. We generally ASSUME a basketball type dribble & recatch yet have issues with the toss up and recatch if it is within the six seconds why is it important how it bounces?

MY definition is this. Up until the keeper tosses that ball out away from his hand or hands the opponent can not try to prevent that action BUT once the action is initiated and the ball is RELEASED moving through the air the opponent should be able to move onto the ball. If I as keeper want to punt the ball and an opponent is stalking or close to me I switch angles to move away and punt. IF that opponent then chooses to follow me and block my angle HERE I have issues because now he IS interfering with my chosen release option. If I chose to go ahead and release it with him near THAT is not the opponent's fault given the keeper is under NO Pressure to release that ball at that exact moment or point on the FOP. The opponent is still entitled to be on the FOP nor does he have to move out of your way he just can not move INTO your way

But as a keeper if I move off to a free section of the FOP to punt that ball and I want to toss it a bit ahead to punt it out I do not want it where opponents can wander in closer to intercept without penalty given I was allowed in law to release the ball unimpeded. Perhaps the toss UP to punt COULD be viewed different then the toss FORWARD to punt.

I think by allowing these interruptions undermines the intent of the law which was let the keeper get rid of the ball to not waste time. I believe a keeper upon gaining possession should STOP look for clear part of the field go there and kick or throw it without interference within that 6 second window. So NO ONE does ANYTHING to go near him and he has ONLY that 6 seconds to get rid of it!

My advise if I was refereeing, stay away from the keeper, do not look for what can only be classified as a cheesy goal

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Philip,
It doesn't matter whether the player is inside or outside the penalty area, what matters is whether, in the opinion of the referee, the player has done what they've done, in order to prevent the keeper from releasing the ball into play (or attempted to kick the ball while the keeper was in the process of releasing it).

Among the things the referee will take into consideration will be how far the player is from the goalkeeper at the moment of release (not how far outside the area they are) along with the movements of the player in relation to the keeper. If the player is 'shadowing' the goalkeeper by moving in response to the keeper's movements so that they can continue to be in the ball's release path, that is likely to trigger the suspicion that the player is indeed trying to prevent the release of the ball by the keeper. The referee might also legitimately ask why a forward would remain in a position that will in most cases leave them in an offside position and unable to participate in play if their team then takes possession of the ball further up the pitch, if they are not in fact, intending to somehow hinder the keeper.

Now there is obviously a point at which the player is far enough away from the keeper that the referee will not see them as attempting to prevent the release but it is up to the referee to decide what exactly that distance is, in each individual case.

I would say it's up to the player to stay far enough away from the keeper as to avoid the perception that they are trying to break the law.

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