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Question Number: 6190

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct

RE: all

Leslie of , asks...

Where specifically does it state in the Law that when the goalkeeper is in possession of the ball a player from the opposing side cannot charge him?

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Leslie since you have not given a country from where the answer to this question is applicable I will answer using the Laws of the Game. The Laws do not specifically state a goal keeper may not be charged. This was removed during the rewrite of the Laws of the Game in 1997-8. Previous to this rewrite Law XII awarded an indirect free kick for charging the goalkeeper except when he was holding the ball; was obstructing an opponent; or had passed outside his goal area. The Law now only discusses what is posession by the goalkeeper and that is found in International Football Association Board Decision 2 of Law 12, it this refers to the goalkeeper's ability to handle the ball after a posession, not to him being charged. ..It is widely known that a goalkeeper's possesion of the ball prevents an opponent from playing the ball and this is not printed. Further, when the ball arrives between an attacker and goalkeeper both have an equal right to it and this may result in a collision, of sorts. ..By the way, is charging not foul play in the direct free kick offenses of Law 12? Contact with any player before touching the ball is also foul play, unless that contact is shoulder to shoulder with both players having at least one foot on the ground and the ball is in close proximity. What usually happens when a player and keeper challenge each other for the ball is the keeper goes to ground and prevents a charge against him but, by doing so, presents a target for the boot of the attacker. This, too, becomes foul play on the attacker's part. The referee must keep a close eye on things when the keeper and an attacker challenge for the ball. ..If you ask the same question about youth soccer, in most States in America, you'll find, in their by laws, prohibitions regarding charging the goalkeeper. ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Sebalja

Prevents the keeper from releasing the ball into play which is in law 12

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