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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35598

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 6/25/2024

RE: Adult

Steve of Brighton, UK asks...

It's illegal for an opposition player to take the ball out of the goalkeeper's hands when he has full control over the ball What would happen if one of the goalkeeper's own players takes it out of his hands? For example if a defender and a goalkeeper both go for the same ball, and the defender accidentally kicks it out of the keeper's hands - would play continue?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
As you say Law 12 is very clear that when goalkeepers have control of the ball they cannot be challenged by any opponent.
The Law also sets what is deemed control which is any one of the following
# the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms, except if the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save
# holding the ball in the outstretched open hand
# bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air.

Clearly a team mate cannot commit a playing offence against a team mate. If say a defender and goalkeeper from the same team clash while trying to play a ball there is no offence and play continues.
Team mates can only commit misconduct against each other such as violent conduct which will result in dismissals and a direct free kick or penalty kick.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Steve,
Yes, play would continue. Law 12 says that:

"A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hand(s)."

Further, the glossary provides the following definition of a challenge:

"An action when a player competes/contests with an opponent for the ball"

So a) a defender kicking the ball out of the goalkeeper's hands is not an offence under Law 12 and b) it's also not a challenge for the ball anyway, since no opponent is involved.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steve,
100% yes, play continues! Keeper and defender are likely apologizing or screaming at one another!

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