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Thursday, 11 June 2015 14:21

Was it a goal? Former top ref casts view on penalty confusion

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(Photo courtesy of Susie Raeburn)
The beauty of football, is that anything can happen. Every minute of every match, there is an infinite amount of possibilities. Every day in the modern world of technology and social media, photos and videos are shared of matches ranging from grassroots level to the world stage. Great goals, saves and funny inicidents are all published... there's no hiding from the online spotlight.
However, yesterday something very rare happened. YFS was presented with a clip from a match, which contained an incident that was completely unique. After many hours scouring the net, we simply couldn't find a video of the same incident from the world of football. The result? 120,000 video views in less than a day.
The incident itself was from a cup final between Hutchison Vale & Newcraighall Leith Vics U14s. Two excellent teams, competing for silverware and inseparable after regulation and extra time. The penalty shoot-out followed and midway through, the incident in question happened. Watch the video below.
This was given as a goal. Was the referee correct? The public certainly couldn't decide, with social media comments being split right down the middle. So we decided to ask former top official, Willie Young (pictured, below right).
Question: Was it a goal?
Willie Young's answer (given in a personal capacity, not representing any refereeing association or body):
An interesting situation indeed!
The Laws of the Game state that a penalty kick has only been completed when the Referee decides it has. (Law 14).
It also states that “when a penalty kick is taken….. a goal is awarded if, before passing between the goalpost and under the crossbar, the ball touches either or both of the goalposts and/or the crossbar and/or the goalkeeper.”
This applies during and at the end of a match and to kicks from the penalty mark to decide a match. 
In this clip the ball appears  to have been “saved” initially by the goalkeeper who then releases it almost immediately and as part of the same movement, allowing it to roll between the posts and into the goal.
In terms of Law 14 it is for the Referee to decide when the penalty kick has been completed and it appears that he has decided that it was not completed unitl after the ball had passed between the posts having been “touched” by the goalkeeper.
As soon as he appears in frame the Referee seems to signal that a goal has been scored, since he points towards the other half of the field of play, which is the traditional (albeit unofficial) signal that a goal has been scored.
So the answer to your question is 'Yes'.
Of course, the Referee could have opted to decide that the penalty kick had been completed when the ball was  'saved' initially  by the goalkeeper, in which case he would not have awarded the goal.
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