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Question Number: 33514

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 7/9/2019

Larry of Danville, CA US asks...

Here is my other question in regards to the new handling rule.

The Law states: 'If the goalkeeper attempts to clear (release into play) a throw-in or deliberate kick from a team-mate but the clearance fails, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball.' Their Explanation for the change is: 'When the GK clearly kicks or tries to kick the ball into play, this shows no intention to handle the ball so, if the clearance attempt is unsuccessful, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball without committing an offence.'

Do you think this is something that will be abused? And if so, how would you deal with it?

Thanks again.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Larry,
I will try to give a shorter answer. No, I think any abuse would show up quickly through exaggerated movements . Getting the ball back into play is important but their ultimate duty is to stop a goal. I think they FIFA/IFAB are trying to emphasis not to gotcha call these type of senseless losses of possession by awarding goal scoring opportunities out of nothing. If they miss kick due to a bobble and they jump on a loose ball about to roll into goal or hit a ball into some standing water slowing or stopping it for an opponent to score or a hard winds blows it backwards hard to fault keeper for acting like one!

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Larry,
I suppose there is always a chance that a law change might be abused (the original 'deliberate kick to the keeper' law being the classic example) but I think the key here are the words 'clearly' and 'no intention.'

I think the idea is that it will be clear when the keeper has genuinely tried to kick the ball but just got it wrong.

If I can go back again to the abuse of the deliberate kick to the keeper law, when the IFAB brought in the circumvention clause, they used the following phrase:

''the referee must only be convinced that this was the player's motive.''

I think that phrase applies here. If the referee is convinced the keeper intended to kick the ball clear but unfortunately failed in the attempt, they should not penalise them.

To answer your other question, If the referee believes the goalkeeper has faked a failed kick and then picks the ball up, they would award an indirect free kick to the opposing team, along with perhaps a warning to the keeper not to do it again, if the referee feels it necessary.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
One of the skills that a referee can develop is interpreting natural body movement or otherwise. That help to assess fouls, slips, exaggerated movements etc.
I believe that a miskick should be clearly identified as that rather than say a fake flick up of the ball that looks unintentional.
Personally I think it would be hard to *fake* a miskick in this situation and it would run a very high risk. It is something that is reasonably rare. Due to its rarity and in the scheme of things it is not going to be a big deal as the GK then has the six seconds to get the ball back into play.
Here is an example
Under the previous Law the IDFK should have been called as the ball did not at any time touch the Yellow player. It appears not to have been called and it is an example of what IFAB do not see as an offence even if the GK caught the ball after the first miskick.
As an aside I interpret the change as a desire to only punish clear deliberate breaches of the so called backpass law.
In this video the miskick by the defender is handled by the goalkeeper as one would expect and it was called as an IDFK. There is or was a tendency to see such kicks as deliberate and therefore placed a restriction on the handling by the GK. For me if IFAB see a miskick by the goalkeeper as a reset then by clear implication a miskick by a defender is also a reset.

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