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Question Number: 33557

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 8/4/2019

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

This question is a follow up to question 33556

Thanks! But one IFAB sentence confuses me more and more:-)

This sentence:'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.'

IFAB mentions deliberately remaining players, even in the case of quick goal kick. How do we understand this sentence? :-)

Thank you!

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Petr,
it is difficult for the LOTG to cover EVERY eventuality but the concept is this.

The LOTG state ALL opponents MUST withdraw 10 yards from the site of a free kick & or exit the PA.

The LOTG ALSO state that the offended team taking the free kick does NOT have to wait for the opposition to retire the stated distance if the team with the free kick WANT to restart quickly.

The OPPOSITION is AWARE of the conundrum so they pretend to be making an effort but are in fact dawdling about trying to delay the kick until all their teammates get back in position to adequately defend or try to take liberties and attempt to pressure the kicker into making a bad play.

What the FIFA circular is saying is a REFEREE is well aware both sides know what is what! I tried explaining this but given here you are asking for more, I obviously failed in my last response to you!

The referee can plainly see if an opponent is not doing what the LOTG require which is get the hell away. It is cautionary misconduct to either delay a restart or fail to respect the distance demanded by the restart procedures

The referee can caution opponents who fail to move away ahead of the kick itself or those who take lines of movement designed the inhibit the kicker's options. This can occur ahead of the restart, thus we show a yellow card cautioning the obtuse individual. The restart remains the same because it has YET to occur!

OR if an opponent makes a quick movement just as the restart occurs and we show a yellow card cautioning the obtuse individual, the restart is a retake!

No opponent can move in tighter or change direction to block or stop & attempt to react ahead of the kick occurring . The referee CAN choose to play advantage, to see if the attempt fails but is going to react if the attempt affected ongoing play by his getting a touch or by challenging too quickly. That player has in fact not lived up to their obligation to continually withdraw up until the ball is ACTUALLY kicked into play.

An example of a player deliberately staying in range is one who by moving slowly in behind the restart or off to one side of the restart location rather than move off further to the side actually moves in closer to the ball, cutting across the path the kicker COULD be using to get the ball in play. By observing the kicker's leg pull back, slow their stride or change direction into the path they believe the ball is headed they might stop to adjust a shoe, pull up a sock. tie a lace, reset their shinguard, or even fake an injury to hobble. They are deliberately staying within range and attempting to effect the kicker to make a rash or hurried kick.

It rather like a passive offside position no one is going to do anything UNLESS you get involved before the restriction is lifted . Here the restriction to not get involved is lifted only AFTER the ball is put into play successfully. The opponent can not sit or kneel 2 or 6 feet from the ball and claim he is obeying the LOTG because he is not. Unless he is badly hurt he must move away and continue do so until he is a the required distance A referee does not have to wait until the kicker puts the ball into play to make a decision the opponent is creating a problem! If he can plainly see the opponent is not responding to the LOTG he can consider it misconduct and not give the opponent the benefit of a intercepted quick start because it was clear he was cheating.

If you as an opponent are close to a restart position but NOT wandering too slow or reacting to the kicker, but the kicker forlornly thinks if he mightily kicks the ball at you to draw a foul, that kicker is foolish indeed, because if opponent was in fact complying to withdraw , the referee could clearly see he was backspacing and moving away thus the opponent is not guilty of anything .

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Petr
The key is to take the circular in its totality.
In essence what it is saying is 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. The genuine effort to retreat outside the penalty area or 10 yards from the ball is allowed for whereas any deliberate action by the attackers to prevent the goal kick or close it down unfairly should not be allowed
It goes on to say that ** 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.**
It is for me a safety valve for referees that when they see some action at a goal kick that they do not like a retake can be given.
I think the astute goalkeeper is not going to offer up an easy close down to an opponent at a goal kick. However there might be one or two situations that present which needs to be dealt with. One could be the crafty attacker who hangs back, unnoticed by the GK and who pounces as soon as the kick is taken. In a noisy environment communication between players may be difficult.
While it is not a goal kick the principle here might need to be dealt with at a goal kick / free kick
For what it is worth my experience of seeing the amended Law in practice is that it works well and goalkeepers make the choice based on the situation that presents. When it is not on as an option GKs have gone with the regular kick out. If they have gone with the kick and an attacker gets on the move quickly they have accepted that in the same way as a quick free kick elsewhere on the field of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Petr,
I think the key to understanding this is in the section where the IFAB talk about referees using the same skill set as they do for free kicks. So if a player is less than ten yards away at a quickly-taken free kick and gets a touch on the ball, the referee has to decide if this is a case of a player who did not have enough time to withdraw, or one who had undertaken deliberate actions to stay too close in order to block the free kick.

They're saying that at a goal kick with an opponent inside the penalty area, the same principles apply.

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