Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef
Panel Login

Question Number: 33758

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/7/2019

RE: Adult

ynon of haifa, haifa israel asks...


I want to ask a question about the new 2020 law for non deliberate handball.
Player A who is in the defending team, gets the ball in the middle of field by his hand, but non deliberate handball. Player A immediately becomes an attacking player, of course.
then player A very fast passes the ball to player B, then player B passes to player C who scores a goal.
Should the goal be canceled due to the non deliberate handball of player A?
Thank you

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Quick answer NO!
You are quite far out and there is a player B in between A & C where we might be more inclined to see it as an advantage off an accidental handling. .A direct A to C pass leading to a goal is more likely depending on the distance to goal but reasonable doubt here a to the OBVIOUS part!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Thanks for the question
The intention of the law is to sanction situations where a goal has been scored by handling and where handling has created a goal scoring opportunity. What you describe has not created a goal scoring opportunity.
Now this has been asked recently in the context of VAR. The advice to VAR refers to an attacking phase possession (APP) which require the referee (assisted by the VAR) to determine: the point at which the attacking team gained possession of the ball and then the point at which the phase of play that led to the goal / penalty incident started.
In any of these example it is a judgement call and I would opine that the pass from B to C would be the phase of play that led to the goal.
I suppose the closest we have in this is determining the red card offence for denying a goal scoring opportunity. Would say a foul on Player A by a defender be considered denying a goal scoring opportunity if that had happened. Perhaps if A was through on goal directly from his position we could consider that and we could opine that if As action of handling the ball put him into a goal scoring position albeit a distance away it could be considered an OGSO and therefore meet the requirement of Law 12 on handling creating a goal w o ring opportunity.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ynon,
Based on the way I read your description, this goal should be allowed. The player has not scored a goal directly with their hand and the accidental handling did not create an actual goal scoring opportunity. An accidental handball that leads to an attack that then continues further down the field and after several passes, ends up with a goal, is not what the law means by ''creat[ing] a goal-scoring opportunity,'' in my opinion.

This is also the way we see the law being applied in practice - it is only when the accidentally handled ball drops to another player on the same team straight away (usually inside or very, very close to the opponent's penalty area) and that second player scores pretty much immediately, that we see such occurrences being penalised.

I have not yet seen (and would not expect to see) accidental handling by a defender inside their own half, being called as an offence.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 33758
Read other Q & A regarding Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.