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Question Number: 8715

Law 13 - Free Kicks 12/13/2004

RE: Rec College

Steven Lord of Provo, Utah USA asks...

When a direct freekick is given on the edge of the penalty area and the referee gives the attacking player the go ahead to take the kick. Is the ref required to give the defending teams goalkeeper notice before the kick is taken, by stepping away from the ball or can he remain standing next to the ball while the kick is taken?

Answer provided by Referee Morley 12/13/2004

I assume you are talking in relation to the recent Arsenal v Chelsea match when Graham Poll allowed Henry to take a quick free kick which resulted in Arsenal's second goal. The referee has to indicate the re-start of play, in this case he clearly asked Henry, pointed to the goal and said "on you go". Gudjonson clearly heard this and can be seen shouting to Czech in goal to get across. Therefore the referee had re-started play and the goal should stand. Had Henry asked for the wall to be 10 yards away then he would have had to wait until the referee paced out the 10 yards, took up his position and then re-started play by the use of his whistle..It is the perogative of the side that is awarded the free kick as to whether they wish to take a free kick quickly or not and as long as the referee re-starts play, either by use of his voice or whistle then they make take it as soon as they wish.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino 12/13/2004

On any free kick, the referee is not required to give the defending team ANYTHING. Remember, it's the defense that committed the foul. In fact, the referee should do everything in his power not to get in the way of the kicking team's taking of a quick. All the referee is required to do is blow his whistle and give a directional.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer 12/16/2004

Once a side has been given a free kick they may restart as soon as the ball is stopped on the floor. In doing so they accept the positions of all opponents and those opponents are free to act once the ball is kicked and moved. The referee should only intervene on behalf of the kicker when a player interferes with the free kick by running toward the ball when inside the required distance (9,15 m), especially when he comes from a place the kicker can not see. ..Regards,

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