I have a question about a recent middle school boys game. Team A took a shot on goal and a player from Team B handled the ball on its way towards the goal (attempting to deny an obvious goal-scoring situation). However, the ball still crossed the goal line for a goal. The referee waved off the goal and awarded a PK but did not send off the defender. What is the correct ruling on this, allow the goal to stand and either not card the defender (or possibly issue a yellow card?) or disallow the goal and send off the defender?
Answer (October 29, 2007):
We must state once again that we do not deal with the rules for games that are not played under the Laws of the Game. However, if this game had been played under the Laws of the Game, we would make the following observations:
1. Denial of a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball is a sending-off offense. The referee may apply the advantage and, if the ball does enter the goal, the player who attempted to deny the opportunity must be cautioned for unsporting behavior.
2. The goal should have been scored.
3. Only a very foolish referee would take away a goal already in the net and award a penalty kick that cannot assure a goal.