If a goalkeeper is in possession of the ball with his hands and is fouled by means of “pushing” and the push sends him out of the penalty area (still holding the ball), but the keeper very quickly throws the ball up to midfield to a wide open attacker who can move towards goal, can advantage be applied and play be allowed to continue under these circumstances?
Law 5 states: the referee is to allow play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage.
Since there is no way you would ever call the deliberate handling infraction, wouldn’t requiring the goal keeper to put the ball to the ground for a free kick take away the advantage? And since Handling must be deliberate it could be argued that the keeper never INTENTIONALLY handled the ball as he was forced from the penalty area against his will.
USSF answer (March 21, 2009):
No, no matter how much the situation may invite it, the referee cannot invoke the advantage clause in this case. The original foul must be called and the opponent at least admonished for the infringement. Of course, if the force of the push was excessive — and if it actually resulted in the goalkeeper being moved a yard or so outside the penalty area, that would seem to be the only conclusion possible — the opponent would also be sent off for using excessive force. The reason for not invoking the advantage clause is that the referee would have to use it twice, first for the foul by the opponent and then again for the infringement by the goalkeeper, no matter that it was caused by the original foul. Call the original foul (and likely serious misconduct) and send off the opponent. Restart with a direct free kick for the goalkeeper’s team from within the penalty area.