The Final’s Second Touch

Posted: February 20, 2014 by larbitre in Futsal
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m larbitre and was kind enough to be invited to guest blog on the Third Blind Mouse!

In my first post, I take a look at an incident from the UEFA Euro 2014 Futsal Finals.

TouchIncident from larbitre on Vimeo.

I watched this scenario on my second viewing of the match and realised it was the first time I saw this technical offence occur in the professional game. There is plenty to analyse and observe from this.


The challenge from Russia’s (White) No. 8, Eder Lima, was not a fair challenge on the young Italian running down the court on a promising attack. We see White 8 push Blue 15 in the back or shoulder charge him in the back constituting a careless push/charge. Blue 15 is sent sliding down the court but the referees allow play to continue.

From many angles this is difficult to discern but play is allowed to continue. Blue 15 doesn’t have much argument as his team is leading two goals in the final three minutes of the match and rushes to return to the defending half.

A missed call here unfortunately but little overall effect on the game.

Flying the Goalkeeper

Uniquely a Futsal tactic, substitution of the goalkeeper is permitted at any time during the game. The caveat, of course, is that the new goalkeeper must be clearly distinguished like his predecessor. I say this assuming that the goalkeepers follow the appropriate substitution procedure.

Flying the goalkeeper is a tactic in Futsal reserved by teams who know they have nothing to lose. This is somewhat similar to football’s calling of the goalkeeper in the last few minutes of play during an attacking corner kick if the team is down a goal or two.

In contrast, flying the goalkeeper brings both benefit and drawback. Namely, the benefit being the addition of an attacking player to contribute to play to provide the equaliser the team needs. On the other hand, the net is unprotected and quick counter-attacks can result in a goal from distance by the team leading!

During the give-and-go here, the Russian fly-goalkeeper rushes to substitute after conceding the kick-in and returns after the counterpart “permanent” or shall I say real goalkeeper steps off the court. The delivery of the goal clearance was the first pivotal touch by the goalkeeper.

Second Touch & FK

The second being the fly goalkeeper returning and passing back to Robinho after being put under pressure by an Italian defender.

Italy decided to capitalise on this basic technical error made by Russia and opt to take a quick free kick and a few seconds later, the ball was in the back of the net only to be recalled.

The spicy piece begins here. Goal or no goal?

I posed this question to my Futsal referee roster and received many interesting responses.

Scenario 1

My observation was that the referees did not have their hand raised when the free kick was taken and the ball entered the goal. The very important thing to note here is that an indirect free kick is the restart for the technical second touch offence. Why is this relevant you ask?

An indirect free kick must be retaken if the referees fail to raise their arms to indicate that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal. The initial indirect free kick is not nullified by the referees’ mistake.

Page 145, Law 13, FLOTG

This accounts for one of the many possible scenarios that occurred.

Scenario 2

Don’t believe these commentators by the way. They have some weird views/takes on incidents during the game. Don’t get me wrong. They know their background info but foul recognition… That’s why they are commentators and not referees.

One possible case is that given the goalkeeper substitution, there was a delay such that there was no goalkeeper on the court at the time of taking the free kick which I assume is illegal. Come on… Maybe fine for a brief second during play but before a restart it’s hard to justify it being ok not to have a goalkeeper on the field of play.

The most difficult thing to explain in the scenario is… why the referee blew the whistle; double-whistled that is.

Scenario 3

The thirdblindmouse, founder of this blog, pointed out that at 0:34, we see the referee almost at the end of a rolling motion. Armed with the knowledge that this is how an accumulated foul is indicated when the ball goes out of play after an advantage, this could be one case but we see no visible/clear application of this.


Between the goal clearance and the technical offence. There is no contact other than Robinho and the Italian defender for which no free kick was awarded. So we wonder…

Scenario 4

Another possibility is that the ball was claimed to be rolling by Referee 1 as perhaps indicated by his hand movement. I can’t really find anything to support the ref here unfortunately. The ball is placed fantastically by the Italian defender and taken deftly into the back of the net.

Why play prevented from being restarted quickly, I don’t know.

Regardless of all this, we are left with only one possible restart if it was allowed to be taken quickly. Goal clearance. An indirect free kick cannot directly enter the net without having touched another player so something so basic was overlooked in the taking of the free kick. I would have expected a player at that level to pass to a teammate nearby to shoot so there was further credibility and goal-scoring threat to their opponents.

Regardlessly, this was the final’s second touch.

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  1. […] real world incidents and I start off with the Euro Futsal finals on the ThirdBlindMouse blog! See The Final’s Second Touch. Keep an eye out there for more info and my blog […]


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