If a team makes an illegal keeper change, Law 3 instructs the referee to wait for the next stoppage before cautioning the players involved. What if the next stoppage is a goal scored by the offending team? My assumption is that the goal would not count because Law 10 states that there must not have been an infringement by the scoring team. Is this correct? If my assumption is correct, then what would be the restart? The “Advice to Referees” deals with the case of a goal scored by a team with an illegal player on the field. This seems similar, so would the restart be an IFK in the goal area for the non-offending team?

USSF answer (January 20, 2010):
There are two separate issues here.

First, Law 10’s reference to a prior violation of the Law by the team scoring the goal is traditionally understood to mean a violation that played some part in the scoring of the goal. For example, if a Red fullback, at his team’s end of the field, just before Red scores a goal, directed dissent to the trail AR, the fullback would, of course, be cautioned for the dissent but this would not nullify the goal because there was no connection between the two events.

Second, the caution for the illegal goalkeeper change does not in the slightest affect the legal status of either player — more specifically, the goalkeeper is still the goalkeeper regardless of how he or she became the goalkeeper. Accordingly, not only is there no nexus between the illegal goalkeeper change (see issue 1, above) but the caution for this misconduct is not at all like the illegal entry of a substitute. In the latter case, the person on the field illegally is still illegal and represents a continuing violation of the Law whereas the illegal goalkeeper change is a discrete offense whose punishment is simply being delayed (until the next stoppage which, in this case, is the goal being scored).

The goal should count.

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