I pose this question only to test the limits of your imagination and wisdom (which always impresses me).

The goalkeeper runs into a goalpost and falls unnoticed by the referees. The ball comes rolling toward the open goal when the last defender grabs the hands of the unresponsive goalie and stops the ball
– puppeteer-like.

Is this handling by the defender and thus a red card incident?

USSF answer (August 12, 2009):
Please see our answer of August 11, 2009, on a similar topic. This would not be a case of deliberate handling by the ingenious last defender, but it would certainly be unsporting behavior, punishable by a caution and an indirect free kick for the opposing team from the place where the misconduct occurred. It also meets the requirements for a send-off for denying the opposing team a goal or a goalscoring opportunity through an act punishable by a free kick.

Of course, there is always the alternative for the intelligent and proactive referee, who, before the defender’s act, sees that the goalkeeper’s injury was obviously serious (though unnoticed earlier) and stops play. In such a case, with the mental decision by the referee predating this curious behavior, play would be stopped (for the injury) before all this foolishness occurs. Some harm, no foul, no outrage from either team.

Leave a Reply