Soccer (American), Football (European)/Penalty


yesterday we were playing our semifinals.It went to extra time but unfortunately we gave away a penalty.It was a fair decision but the way the penalty was scored was very unfair.While he was running towards the ball he fell and our goalkeeper dived then the penalty taker just got up and tapped the ball in and the referee just gave them the I'm  asking you whether this is allowed in soccer.

Let me first acknowledge that I do not know of any ruling in this particular situation.

That being said, this situation, in my opinion, goes to the most critical phrase in the laws of the game - "in the opinion of the referee."

If the referee perceived that the kicker deliberately faked fell to the ground when he was running toward the ball, then I would think that the kick should be disallowed.  The critical part is if the referee were convinced that the kicker was deliberately trying to trick or deceive the goalie.  If I were the referee, I would be looking to see how the player ran, what was he looking at, what types of movements was he doing or anything else that may suggest an effort to, basically, cheat, and if so, the goal would be disallowed.

If the kicker in the normal course of running to the ball to kick it simply just slipped and fell, then I could see why the referee would have allowed the kick and the goal.

This is a situation that has never happened to me as a referee or coach, nor has it come up in the many referee clinics that I attended.

Hope this helps.  Hope you have fun on the pitch.

Soccer (American), Football (European)

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John Cummings


Do you have a call made by the referee in last week`s match puzzling you? Are you a referee who may not be certain that what was done was the right thing to do? I shall be glad to entertain any questions about officiating soccer. The more the players, coaches and supporters understand the referee and his/her decisions, the more fun we can have on the pitch.


After coaching my son's travel team, I have been USSF State Referee, State Assessor, Assignor and State Instructor in addition to having been a college NISOA referee,a NISOA clinician, a NISOA assessor and a high school referee.


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