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Question Number: 34200

Law 16 - The Goal Kick 4/15/2021

RE: Comp. Under 17

Larry of Danville, CA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33908

I have a follow up on the goal kick scenario where there is a double touch. Say a GK takes the goal kick and slips resulting in a slight touch and just prior to an attacker reaching the ball (with no other defenders around)the GK jumps on the ball. Your answers indicate the restart is an IDFK with no card.
However Law 12 states:
"If the goalkeeper handles the ball inside their penalty area when not permitted to do so, an indirect free kick is awarded but there is no disciplinary sanction. However, if the offense is playing the ball a second time (with or without the hand/arm) after a restart before it touches another player, the goalkeeper must be sanctioned if the offense stops a promising attack or denies an opponent or the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity."
It seems to me that since the restart is an IDFK and not a PK, a red card must be shown, but this seems too severe.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Larry,
true, the LOTG are changing, a 2nd touch violation by the keeper for a ball he released back into play after 6 seconds or a messed up free-kick/goal kick has a greater risk of punishment given hand or foot or in fact, any body part contact with the ball has the same cardable consequences INSIDE the PA for the keeper.

An INDFK from the point of contact subject to special circumstances within the goal area

(a)A free-kick cannot be directly scored on one's self, its a corner kick
(b)In a release of the ball after 6 seconds.

Imagine in both cases the keeper directed the ball towards his own goal.

Now he runs and tries to stop it but kicks, body pushes or they handle that ball and yet fails to stop it from entering the goal.
The ball was definitely touched a second time!
Do you allow the goal to stand?


Now he runs and successfully clears the ball with the kick, blocks it with his body, or uses his hands to grab or knock it away.
The ball was definitely touched a second time!
Has he denied a goal?

If an opponent was there and would have had a chance to score
The ball was definitely touched a second time!
Has he denied them opportunity via an offense punishable by a free kick?

The INDFK restart with a caution or a red card send-off reducing the team by a player could be applied to an INDFK offense of this nature but I think we should consider whether the ball was fully released and not a bobble slip recovery off a mishandled ball for a 6-second violation versus a dfk or goal kick miskick. Now that a goal kick or free kick does not have to travel outside the PA to be in play instead of retakes we just might see more indfks with cautions for SPA. But it IF all 4 criteria were met for DOGSO then the red card send-off, keeper takes a walk of shame for being so careless. Yet I agree with you far too harsh.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Larry
A goalkeeper cannot be carded for handling a deliberate kick or throw in from a team mate.

So diving to save a goal on a *back-pass* is an IDFK only.

Now in the case of a double touch infringement that is an entirely different scenario not connected with the IDFK for a goalkeeper handling offence and one where the law has been amended in the most recent LotG in respect of a double touch violation which you have correctly quoted. Any previous answer given no longer apply such as that given in April 2020. In fact if we go back to the *old* goal-kick law it would have been a retake inside the penalty area only and outside it was an IDFK. At that time there was a grey area of whether it could also be deemed misconduct with the Law being mute on the point. It points to how important it is for referees to stay up to date on the Laws.

Now under the current LotG once a referee deems that the illegal action of a double touch infringement has either stopped a promising attack or denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity then a caution for a SPA and red card for a DOGSO is required.
Whether we think a red card is too severe or not it is up to the referee to enforce the LotG. If the four DOGSO conditions are met then a referee has no choice in the matter.

Personally I think such a red card takes no account of the way the game is played as does IFAB believe that any goalkeeper is going to stand there on a miskick and allow an attacker to play the ball? I understand that the odd exceptional egregious situation yet has to be dealt with yet those are extremely rare for which the Law does not need to raise confusion by legislating for it.
Have a look at this video
The referee decided that there was no DOGSO and he went with the caution for stopping a promising attack. I assume based on the fact that not all of the 4 conditions were met in particular the distance to the ball of the attacker at the time of the offence.

So probably we are looking for the obvious double touch that knocks the ball away from an opponent who would have had a clear OGSO without the last moment double touch. That would be extremely rare yet it is possible.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Larry,
In the explanation that accompanied the law change that just came into effect this year, as mentioned by my colleagues, the IFAB made it clear that a goalkeeper can be red-carded for a second touch offence that denies a goal.

The relevant wording is as follows:

"If a goalkeeper deliberately plays the ball a second time at a restart (before it has touched another player) and stops a promising attack or denies a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, the goalkeepers should be cautioned (YC) or sent off (RC).'

A red card may seem harsh but it is now allowed in law for a second touch DOGSO offence by a goalkeeper.

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