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Question Number: 33908

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 3/4/2020

RE: Adult

Ezra Hein of Longview, TX United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33655

In regards to the double touch that a goalkeeper might commit on a botched goal kick, I understand that an IFK is awarded to the attacking team. My question is whether there are any additional sanctions that could be given to the goalkeeper (red or yellow card)?

For example, an attacker enters the penalty area when the ball is initially kicked and is about to play the ball in a goal-scoring opportunity (but has not touched the ball and does not have possession). The goalkeeper then plays the ball with their foot a second time, could this be a red card as they were denying a goal-scoring opportunity? The same question also holds if the goalkeeper were to fall on the ball or grab it with their hands. The infraction in this case is not the traditional handling offense by a goalkeeper which cannot be carded, but rather the double touch infraction? Is that a cardable offense?

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Ezra,
The offence that denies a goal scoring opportunity can be either a direct or indirect free kick. In fact I seem to recall a discussion on a refereeing forum where the question of a double touch DOGSO was being debated and as opinions were divided, one of the participants sent a query to the IFAB. The answer came back that a double touch could constitute a DOGSO offence.

The referee would of course have to consider all the 4 DOGSO criteria but if having done so, the referee judged that an obvious goal scoring opportunity had indeed been denied, then they could make that decision and award a penalty.

As to the question of a sanction, if the double touch was a kick of the ball then obviously it was an attempt (and a successful one) to play the ball so it would only garner a yellow card.

If the second touch were in the form of a touch with the hand then I believe that the prohibition on any sanction for a goalkeeper for use of the hand would apply and the keeper should not be carded. For me, you still have to look at it as handling - yes it was a double touch but that doesn't alter the fact that it was handled.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ezra
By its nature a regular technical double touch offence means that an opponent has not played the ball and as a result it could fail on one of the four Ds in a DOGSO namely the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball. So a red card may not really be appropriate. Yes one could use a Law 12 penal offence to allow for a red card in an situation such as one involving a double touch and a foul that in its own right get punished.
Now on a deliberate handling outside the penalty on a double touch the referee will punish the more serious offence of handling and that in my opinion lowers the bar in the DOGSO stakes in that the goalkeeper has acted n a more egregious way which for me if the other three DOGSO criteria are present then a red card is entirely legitimate.
On a regular double touch there is little need for a card and the IDFK is sufficient. I cannot really see a situation where a player on a potential double touch would not play the ball and therefore would not expect a card for his actions such as slip on the first kick and then following up with a kick to repair the error.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Ezra .

Lets think a moment, the double touch of a ball either via foot or hand by a keeper is an INDFK offence . Its only a DFK if the handling occurs outside the PA . In all cases the opposition gain possession of a ball & get a decent crack at goal on the restart that they did very little to earn. Why does the keeper NEED a card to remind him or her self they just gave the ball away for free???

One might conclude that a handling of the ball OUTSIDE the PA even on a 2nd touch after restart or release after 6 seconds that prevents a shot at goal is in fact red or yellow card material. It is unnecessary to apply the criteria of DOGSOH inside the PA for the INDFK restart but one could show the red card & send the keeper off for the deliberate handling if outside the PA because the keeper is NOT permitted to use the hands outside the PA in ANY case. If he had only kicked the ball a 2nd time outside the PA, again fine with just the INDFK restart no card!

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