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 |