LOTG Contradictions: Backwards PK and Restart

Posted: February 13, 2015 by thirdblindmouse in Uncategorized

kick animated GIF

After a referee education session this past week, a couple of us stayed back to discuss this crazy instance where the LOTG kind of contradicts itself.  It’s with regards to a backwards penalty kick.  No, I’m not talking about the insanity above (which, by the way, it completely legal).  The question goes like this….

At the taking of a penalty kick, everything is set up perfectly.  The goal keeper is on the goal line.  All the defenders and attackers are outside the PA, behind the ball and at least 9.15m from the ball.  The kicker is identified.  The AR is standing at the intersection of the goal line and the PA line.  The Referee is standing near the top of the PA to watch for encroaching players.  The referee blows his whistle to restart play and the kicker kicks the ball backwards to a team mate.

What’s the call???

kick animated GIF

We all know that this is an infringement of the laws of the game and everyone know that the correct way to handle this is to stop play, possibly caution the kicker for USB, but the more interesting part of the question is…What is the restart???

Every referee (at least I hope) knows that play must be restarted with an Indirect Free Kick awarded to the defending team.  But why???

The discussion centred around the fact that technically, the ball was never put into play since it didn’t move forward.  Therefore, the kick surely should be retaken.  There was also a conjecture that the LOTG states that play is restarted when the referee blows the whistle for the kick to be taken however, the ball isn’t in play until it is kicked and moves forward.  Thus, making an allowance for the IDFK in the scenario.

We weren’t arguing that the correct answer should be a retake since we all knew what the correct answer was; we were just trying to make sense of it.

WHY is the restart an Indirect Free Kick, and not a retake?

It seems as though this is another place where the LOTG can be a bit ccontradicting of itself however, the answer is laid out, for all to see in plain black and white, and there should be no confusion about the answer.

Nowhere in the LOTG does it say the play is started when the referee blows the whistle.
All it says is that…
“• After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the
referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken”  (FIFA LOTG 2014/15, pg. 45)
There is nothing in the Interpretations regarding this, either.
That being said…
Procedures (and therefore, the LAW) for the taking of a penalty kick:
FIFA LOTG 2014/15 – Law 14  (Pg. 45) 
“• The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward
• The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward
FINE….we understand that, and know that in the scenario discussed on above, the ball never comes into play because it was kicked backwards.
Now, here is why the answer is Indirect free kick, and not a retake…
FIFA LOTG 2014/15 – Law 14  (Pg. 46) 
“If the referee gives the signal for a penalty kick to be taken
and, before the ball is in play, one of the following occurs:
the player taking the penalty kick infringes the Laws of the Game:
• the referee allows the kick to be taken
• if the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken
• if the ball does not enter the goal, the referee stops play and the match is
restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the place
where the infringement occurred”
In this scenario, the course of events goes like this…
1) the referee gives the signal for the kick to be taken
2) the ball is still out of play because, although it was kicked, it did NOT move forward
3) the player taking the penalty kick, kicks the ball backwards which is a clear infringement of the LOTG on Pg 45
4) the referee allows the kick to be taken
5) the ball obviously does not enter the goal and therefore, play is restarted with an Indirect free kick to the defending team.
( I guess you could technically caution the kicker for being stupid and label it as USB ;D )
And there you have the the answer!
But yet, therein lies another contradiction…how can the referee “stop” play by its very definition, if the ball is never in play to begin with, because it was played backwards?
Clear as mud??? lol
Happy Whistling!
Third Blink Mouse




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