A goalkeeper and an attacking player on a fifty /fifty ball collide and slide over the goalline some 10 feet into the area inside the netting between the goal posts. The ball is stopped on the goal line.The attacker attempts to reach his leg out, intending to draw the ball back over the goalline. The keeper scambles over top of the attacker in an attempt to grab the ball pinning the attacker’s legs preventing him from doing so. A defender then manages to clear the ball from the area.
USSF answer (May 14, 2009):
Both players left the field during the course of play and thus have the permission of the referee to be where they are. Working with your statement that the ball was still on the goal line and the goalkeeper and attacking player were fully off the field when the goalkeeper did what he did, we would suggest that the decision to be made (which only the referee on the spot can make) is whether the goalkeeper was holding the opponent back rather than merely trying to play the ball. Your description suggests a tussle in which either could be occurring. If both players were simply trying to disentangle themselves in a scramble to get to the ball, then what is happening is ordinary play and, although needing to be watched carefully, it should be allowed. If the referee decides that the goalkeeper is holding the opponent to prevent him from playing the ball, then the goalkeeper is guilty of misconduct. Since this is occurring off the field, the goalkeeper would be cautioned and play restarted with a dropped ball on the goal area line straight up from where the ball was when play was stopped (this is an example of the “special circumstances” involving restarts in the goal area).