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Question Number: 33556

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 8/3/2019

Petr of Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33546

One additional question to IFAB goal kick clarification please.

Situation: Player deliberately enters (or remains inside) penalty area before the ball is in play. When the ball is in play he challenges for this ball. Is the goal kick retaken? (as in the old version of the rule?)

Thank you very much!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr ,
you did well in your last inquiry my good friend. lol
In effect you are asking two questions here.
The first question is:
If an opponent is already INSIDE the PA when a goal kick or outgoing free kick occurs. The opponent is free to challenge the moment the ball is kicked into play.
If he abides by this no intervention clause there is no retake as no law was broken .

However, if he makes any effort while inside the PA, even if no time was given for him to withdraw but chooses to react and attempt to block, move towards or cut off the kick as it or before it occurs and interferes with that kick, it will be retaken. The opponent risks being cautioned as well.

If the defenders CHOOSE to go forward with the kicking action before the other team can fully withdraw voluntarily outside their PA and or ten yards away. Just as in any free kick taken with opposition too close, the team instigating the play suffer the consequences of initiating play with opposition closer than the laws suggest they must withdraw.
However, there is a provision for the referee to object to a dawdling opponent who is NOT making an effort to withdraw expeditiously and remains in close proximity unfairly. The referee can caution said individual and begin again but usually this occurs prior to the free kick occurring or just as it it occurs.

The second question is:
If an opponent is already OUTSIDE the PA and chooses to run back inside the PA or close down the space to less than ten yards BEFORE the goal kick or outgoing free kick is kicked into play that opponent can not challenge and if he does interfere in any real way (advantage can be applied) the kick is retaken. If it was to be done repeatedly possibly a caution show a yellow card card for persistent infringement or delaying the restart of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
Like the quick free kick the kicker has to evaluate the benefits / risks associated with taking the kick quickly with opponents perhaps in close proximity.
Law 16 now tells us that once the ball is kicked it is in play so the attackers are free to challenge for the ball when it is kicked unlike in the past when it had to leave the penalty area to be in play not could they enter
In the case where an attacker does not exit or enters the penalty area the referee has to make a judgement as to why did that happen. If it is done to delay the restart of play then the referee can take disciplinary action to deal with that. If the player is inside the penalty area and the ball is in play then no possible infringement. Much like the opponent who is closer than 10 yards at a quick free kick.
As yet I have not seen any attacker try to prevent a goal kick like the QFK and perhaps that will happen when teams try to limit the potential for a quick transition in play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
This question was actually addressed by the IFAB in a 'clarification circular' issued August 2.

The section that applies here goes as follows:

''Law 16 requires all opponents to be outside the penalty area until the goal kick is taken and if an opponent remains inside or enters the penalty area before the kick is taken and plays, challenges or touches the ball, the goal kick is retaken.

However, Law 16 also applies the 'quick' free kick principles outlined in Law 13 Free Kicks - Offences and sanctions that if any opponents are in the penalty areas because they did not have time to leave, the referee allows play to continue.

In practical terms, this means that referees should manage goal kicks (and defending team free kicks in their own penalty area) in the same way as they manage free kicks:
- Unless the kick is taken quickly, opposing players should be required to be outside the penalty area and remain outside until the kick has been taken
- If the kick is taken quickly and an opponent genuinely did not have time to leave the penalty area, the opponent may not interfere with or prevent the taking of the kick but may intercept the ball once it is in play. This is allowed because the defending team, as at a quick free kick, tried to gain an advantage by taking the kick quickly and if this 'goes wrong' the Law is not there to 'save' them.
- Players who deliberately remain inside or enter the penalty area before the kick is taken should not gain an unfair advantage, even if the kick is taken quickly

If an opposing player commits an offence (as outlined above) the goal kick is retaken; there is no disciplinary sanction unless the offence occurs a number of times (persistent misconduct)

Referees are skilled at managing 9.15m at free kicks and they should apply these skills and principles to the management of goal kicks and defending team free kicks in their own penalty area.''

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