The final match of an international Girls U17 tournament ends in a 0-0 tie and goes to a shootout to determine the winner. The tournament is governed by U.E.F.A. rules.

One of the kicks taken hits the post and rebounding forward, hits the keeper a foot in front of the goal line and is deflected back into the net.

The referee ruled that once the ball had started moving forward off the post the play was dead and a goal could not be scored.

I believe the rules state that a referee is the final judge of when a play is ended, but I also believe he is supposed to let play continue until it finishes of its own accord. I’m not certain if the rules of play governing a shootout differ from a regular penalty kick.

Did the referee make the correct call? Should the deflection (and resulting goal) have been allowed? My daughter’s team was declared the winner of the game, but we’re curious whether it was handled properly.

USSF answer (July 28, 2008):
UEFA rules? Most likely you mean what we normally call “FIFA rules,” known to the rest of the world as “The Laws of the Game.”

Under the Laws of the Game a penalty kick — including a kick from the penalty mark to determine a winner — is completed only when the referee declares it so, and the referee should not declare the kick to be completed if there is any possibility that the ball is still in play. In other words: So long as the ball is in motion and contacting any combination of the ground, crossbar, goalposts, and goalkeeper, a goal can still be scored.

Leave a Reply