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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000


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Question Number: 33981

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 8/30/2020

Luka Barisic of USA, USA asks...

I'm distraught over new goal kick rules. What pains me the most is seeing a goalkeeper play a high ball to a nearby teammate who heads it back to goalie who catches it. Shouldn't that be whistled for indirect free kick?

Kindly reply here. You may publish everything at the website, including my full name, but I probably won't see it and that would be a shame.


Luka Barisic

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Luka,
What you describe is not permitted but according to the IFAB, this should be a retake, not an indirect free kick. The official wording is as follows:

"If at a goal kick or free kick the goalkeeper ‘flicks’ the ball up and a team-mate heads/chests the ball back for the goalkeeper to catch, the kick is retaken: there is no disciplinary sanction (unless this occurs persistently)."



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Luka
Thank you for your question.
When this first happened under the original amended Law 16 many referees were unsure how to deal with it. Higher level referees allowed it yet the soccer world did not like this action. Pro goalkeepers did this as they felt that a high throw could find a team mate easier than a ground kick.
IFAB the law making body promptly stepped in and issued a circular to deal with this which was subsequently inserted in the Laws and the relevant section of Law16 is quoted by Referee Grove. So if it happens in a game it is NOT allowed and the kick is retaken. If you are seeing it in current games the referee is not implementing Law16 correctly.
It is for situations like this that referees must engage on training / education modules provided by associations to keep referees up to date on the Laws. Our association has just completed a series of modules on the new Law changes for the 20/21 season. Over the past 3/4 years there have been significant changes to the Laws including this one and it is incumbent on referees to stay current and up to date on the Laws
Our site tries to assist in that effort by clarifying / answering questions on the Laws. We also make the point that older questions before June in any year may not now be correct under the current Laws of the Game.





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