# Question and Answer – The Distance In A Free Kick Between The Defensive Players And The Ball.

Q. If a foul occurred from outside the box and instead of the defense wall (barriera) there will be the keeper does the distance will be applicable to the keeper, because the rule of the game states that the.goalkeeper can use all the box?

A.      The Laws of the Game state clearly that the distance of the defensive players, including the goalkeeper, should be 5 meters from the ball. This applies to all kick-ins, corner kicks and free kicks.

So, for example, if a foul occurs outside the penalty area, let’s assume 1 or 2 m outside the penalty area, and the defending team decides not to form a defensive wall, all the players, including the goalkeeper should stay at a distance of 5 meters from the ball.

This applies also during the kick from the second penalty mark, after the 5th accumulated foul. In this case there is no defensive wall, but just the same, the goalkeeper should stay at a distance of 5 meters from the ball, which means, he can come close up to 1 meter from the penalty area arc. As you know the distance of the second penalty mark from the goal line is 10 meters. The arc of the penalty area is 6 meters. That means that the distance of second penalty mark from the penalty area arc is 4 meters (10 – 6 = 4). Therefore the goalkeeper should stay 1 meter away from the penalty area arc (4+1=5), and the distance from the ball will be 5 meters.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |

# Question and Answer – Denying A Clear Goal-scoring Opportunity

Q. During the Premier game Zejtun vs Floriana, the Floriana keeper was sent off by the referee as he handled the ball outside the area. Can you please explain in what instances shall the referee show a yellow card and when should he show the player a straight red?I would like some clarification about when the goalkeeper passes the ball to a teammate. Can that said teammate pass it back to the keeper or no? And if yes, can the keeper pass back to the same player? Because it is seems to me that it is solely at the discretion of the referee whether to punish such occurrence.

A. From referee’s match report in this particular case, Floriana GK was sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.Please allow me to explain more the dealing with hand ball situations.

In the Laws of the Game a hand ball infringement is considered to be a cautionable offence (yellow card), when the player handles the ball deliberately, which means that the Referee should take into consideration whether the hand moved towards the ball, or the contrary. The distance of the player form the ball, is also to be taken into consideration.If the player handling the ball is too close, then he has no time to “remove” his hand.

The position of the player in the field of play. If the player handling the ball, although might be too close, is on the goal-line, then he should be penalised for deliberate handball. In this case, if a goal is not scored, he should be sent off for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. If a goal is scored, then a yellow card is sufficient.

However, UEFA instructions, lately, advice the referees to be cautious about showing yellow cards for deliberate handball. It should be the norm to caution (yellow card) the player, if by deliberately handling the ball, he is stopping a promising attack, otherwise a verbal warning will suffice. Having said that, if the same player, or another one of his team, repeats the same offence, he should be cautioned (yellow card).

Please, always remember that all decisions during the game, are subject to: THE OPINION OF THE REFEREE.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |

# Question and Answer – Deliberate Pass To The Keeper Rule

Q. I would like some clarification about when the goalkeeper passes the ball to a teammate. Can that said teammate pass it back to the keeper or no? And if yes, can the keeper pass back to the same player? Because it is seems to me that it is solely at the discretion of the referee whether to punish such occurrence.

A. Hereunder is the explanation to your query as per Futsal Laws of the Game. Once the goalkeeper releases the ball from his possession (either from a goal-clearance or during play) and the ball is played by one of his teammates, the goalkeeper cannot touch the ball again in HIS OWN HALF of the pitch unless it is touched by an opponent. The goalkeeper can though play the ball in opponents half of the pitch, even if the ball is not touched before by an opponent. If the goalkeeper receives the ball from a teammate, he cannot handle the ball (unless it was played to him by head, chest or upper part of the knee (koxxa)), however, the goalkeeper can pass the ball back to the same teammate without it being considered an offence.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |

# Question and Answer – Goalkeeper Gears

Q. May I raise a query regarding the colour of the goalkeeper shirts please? Last year one referee informed me that ALL 3 keeper shirts must be identical even in case of a flying keeper. Can you please confirm this maybe with George as I just received a new set and if this is confirmed I will change the keeper shirts before the prints?

A. In the Laws of the Game there is no specification on the issue. However, both FIFA and UEFA have decided that all Goalkeepers (including flying goalkeeper) use identical shirts.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |

# Question and Answer – Bibs

Q. We were asked by the referee to wear bibs. Can I ask why? Sorry for being difficult but everything new that crops up impinges on us players financially.

A. Bibs are also obligatory for substitute players to be worn during the game. That is for the sole purpose to distinguish between infield players and substitutes.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |

# Question and Answer – Shin Guards

Q.  Is it obligatory to wear shin guards or can we do without? (most of the team hate them that’s why I’m asking as they kept complaining)

A. Shin guards are obligatory to players (goalkeepers included) as per Futsal Laws of the Game (Law 4 – Players’ Equipment). That is for the safety of the players and should be of suitable material in order to offer a satisfactory level of protection to players’ shin. A player cannot take part on the match if he does not have shin guards.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |

# Question and Answer – Sliding Tackle Rule

Q. During our game on Saturday, the referee told us that no form of sliding tackles are allowed and a foul was given against us. I was of the impression that sliding tackles are allowed. What is the case?

A. Sliding Tackle is one of the most controversial issues in Futsal.

Up to 2010 it was totally banned, therefore any type of sliding tackle was punished by a direct free kick.

From 2010 onwards, sliding tackle is allowed in some circumstances provided that the following criteria are satisfied:

–          Player making the sliding tackle SHOULD NOT do it in: Careless, Reckless or Using Excessive Force manner.

1-      If a player is in full possession of the ball (full possession is considered also when player dribbles the opponents and runs with the ball) – sliding tackle is not allowed

2-      If the ball is being contested by two players of opposing teams, then sliding tackle is allowed, provided above criteria are satisfied. One should keep in mind that the player should make contact with the ball and not with opponent.

However, this is not as easy as it might sound. Since its’ change in 2010 a lot of controversy has surrounded referees’ decisions on sliding tackle. I would like to emphasize also that UEFA encourages  Referees to punish sliding tackle, since it is Futsal and not Football.

You have to consider also the fact that the Laws of the Game state: If in the opinion of the Referee….

As I mentioned, it is not a clear-cut situation and I know it brings a lot of frustration to players, coaches and referees alike.

Reply by Gjergji Bitri (Futsal Expert & Beach Soccer Coordinator – Referees’ Committee) | E bitrig@maltanet.net |