How to deal with encroachment at penalty kicks

How to deal with encroachment at penalty kicks? An interesting situation in the game between Newcastle and Burton. This case study is written as educational story to show referees how to handle in particular situations based on the Laws of the Game.

The situation. Newcastle has been awarded a penalty kick. Matt Richie takes it and scores, but the referee disallows the goal. Is it correct? And how does play need to be restarted? Have a look at the situation yourself first.

The Laws of the Game

The Laws of the Game explain how a referee needs to handle. “If a player of both teams infringes the Laws of the Game, the kick is retaken.” And there’s a little addition: “unless a player commits a more serious offence (e.g. illegal feinting).” That’s not the case here, because the Newcastle player is not feinting to kick the ball after completing his the run-up.

Offence or not?

So no feinting, but do both teams make an offence?

Have you seen how many players entered the penalty area too early? It’s (almost) everybody who was visible on the tv screen.

Encroachment at penalty kicks

Correct decision for encroachment at penalty kicks

The correct decision would be to disallow the goal and order a retake of the penalty kick.

Personal question

In Uefa and Fifa games referees will tolerate a lot with encroaching players at penalty kicks. But how strict are you with encroachment at penalty kicks?

Share your thoughts below or vote on the Twitter poll.

5 thoughts on “How to deal with encroachment at penalty kicks

  1. I would give the foul (is it a foul?) when a player gains an advantage by entering early, or if it’s blatant (the example posted above was pretty close to blatant). I agree that a retake would be the correct call in the above example.

    • Indeed. The problem in the case above would not be whistling for the offence, but the way play got restarted. IDFK instead of a retake.

  2. In my view it depends on the timing. If players are entering very early during the taker’s run-up, then give a retake.
    On the other hand, if players are only in the box by the time he kicks the ball then I would probably play on.
    Don’t be too strict with encroachment; otherwise the referee may create flashpoints in the match that are just unnecessary.

  3. Hi Jan

    Great article/study-very topical too! Yours was the only analysis I saw that supported the referee’s call. Take a look at what Graham Poll had to say in the Daily Mail which seems to be consistent with other experts. Well done!

    • Thanks for the comment. The goal of my blog is to learn the readers something with a actual case as example. That will improve them. No need to blame the one who was refereeing, better focus on improvement of others.

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