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Question Number: 9705

Law 14 - Penalty kick

RE: All levels Other

Don Reid of London, Ontario Canada asks...

The penalty shot is the most draconian punishment in sport. I wish that its use would be applied in only the most strict circumstances: I.E. when the infraction interferes directly with an obvious scoring opportunity. This is the way the penalty shot is applied in hockey: when a player has an unobstructed path to the goal and is fouled All other infractions are dealt with in the usual way. ..As a Canadian who, in my mid-30s became interested (obsessed?) with the game I always found it absurd to award such a stringent penalty against a team whose defender has, for example taken a player down inches inside the area, or handled the ball yards away from the goal...In my opinion referees would be more inclined to call such infractions if they knew that the punishment were a direct free kick with its attendant defensive wall in place as well instead of an almost sure-fire goal...I know this is not a question, but perhaps it might initiate some discussion...Thanks,..Don Reid.London Ontario, Canada

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Teams that don't want to have penalty kicks called against them may simply refrain from committing penal fouls inside the penalty area

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Don when you get to be two thirds of the International FA Board you can vote away a penalty kick. Until that time, if you are a referee, you must do as the Law requires. ..Regards,

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Answer provided by Referee Victor Matheson

I do think you will find that many referees agree with you. You will rarely find "ticky-tack" fouls called in the penalty area while near midfield these same foul may be called. The LOTG state (or at least used to state) that the referee should refrain from calling trifling (that is, minor) fouls. Most referee's opinions about what is trifling do change in the penalty area.

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