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Question Number: 33826

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 1/5/2020

RE: Competitive Adult

Rob of Bristol, UK asks...

A goalkeeper passes a goal kick to his teammate and the teammate that he has just passed to, passes it back to him before the ball is touched by any other player. Is this allowed?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rob
Not sure why you would ask this yet the answer is YES. The goal kick is now like any other restart in that the ball is in play when it is kicked and moved so if it is played by a team mate back to the kicker then the kicker is fully entitled to play the ball. The only difference is that opponents must be outside the penalty area until the ball is kicked.
If the kicker is the goalkeeper obviously he cannot touch the ball with his hands if the deliberate kick to him is from a team mate. He can play the ball as normal by passing it to another team mate or kicking it away. Pro teams use this tactic now a lot to hold possession of the ball on a short goal kick.
As referred to by Referee Dawson some time ago after the new goal kick law was amended it was seen that goalkeepers were flicking up the ball to team mates who were heading the ball back to allow the goalkeeper to allow him pick up the ball to then throw it. That was seen as against the spirit of the new law so that has now been prevented with the advice that the kick should be retaken.
I hope that all helps

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Rob,
if the ball, after the goal kick, had COMPLETELY left the penalty area, I would allow the keeper use of his hands , provided the ball was not deliberately kicked back via a team mates foot. . If the ball did not leave the penalty area it is a retake at present. The new law stating the ball is in play immediately but the opponents are NOT allowed in the PA to contest or challenge for ball control makes it unfair, . The laws should reflect this as an INDFK offence given its blatant consequence BECAUSE the opposition are OUTSIDE the PA while the circumvent is initiated inside.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rob,
The basic answer is that this is allowed - however there are several caveats. Firstly, if the return 'pass' is judged by the referee to be a deliberate kick to the goalkeeper, the keeper may not touch the ball with the hands, that would be an indirect free kick offence. Which leads us to the second scenario - if the pass is not in the form of a kick but done with the knee, head etc because the keeper has flicked the ball up into the air to allow the team mate to use a body part other than the foot, the goal kick must be retaken.

This second scenario is one that has just arisen because of the change in the goal kick law whereby the kick does not need to leave the penalty area to be in play. Once this became the case, players started using the 'flick up to head etc' as a means to get the ball back into the goalkeeper's hands. The IFAB then issued a circular saying that they will be looking into whether this contravenes the law or not and that in the meantime this will neither be penalised nor allowed, it will just lead to a retake.

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