Soccer (American), Football (European)/Penalty or not?


Hi, please could you resolve this question that arose in a football match yesterday. An opposition striker ran onto a through ball into our penalty area our goalie charged at him to make save. Strikers first touch was woeful and the ball came off his shin and out of play apparently for a goal kick however as the ball crossed the line our goalies forward momentum caused him to collide with the striker and a penalty was awarded. The contact was made after the ball had crossed the line and gone out of play so was it right to award a penalty.
Hope you can help

Hello Jack,  

Based on what you've said here, in my opinion it was wrong to award a penalty.

In the FIFA rules regarding a penalty kick, the rule states

"A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above offences(lists offences which constitute a foul) is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play."

The final statement here "provided it is in play" is the important part. If the ball is out of play, then a penalty should not be awarded.

However, there are other rules which relate to 'misconduct' for example, playing in a dangerous manor / violent conduct. If the referee decided that the goalkeeper was guilty of this, then he could punish the goalkeeper and possibly award a free-kick, as this offence took place inside the penalty area, then a penalty could be awarded !

As you have said, it was the 'keepers momentum that caused the foul, and the referee did not punish the keeper with a yellow or red card, then it would suggest the collision was accidental and thus, as the ball was out of play, no penalty should have been awarded.

I hope this answers your question, should you have any further questions please feel free to let me know.


Soccer (American), Football (European)

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Andy Black


I'm happy to answer questions relating to playing in, managing and running a football (soccer) club. I am up to date with laws of the game (adult 11-a-side) and pay attention to the news in major european leagues. I may not be able to answer questions relating to junior football laws and do not have contacts at professional clubs.


I have played both 11-a-side and 5-a-side football at regional level for 15 years and at youth level prior to this for as long as i can remember. I have experience of managing adult teams both at intermediate and amateur level, and as son of a club Chairman i am familiar with running and progressing a club.

None relating directly to football, will be taking FA Coaching badges over next few years.

Awards and Honors
2007 Regional 6-a-side league winners.

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