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When goalie leaves goal-line at penalty kick: yellow and retake

Goalkeepers who leave their goal-line too early at a penalty kick should get a yellow card and the kick needs to be retaken. That’s what Pierluigi Collina, Uefa’s head of refereeing said on a press conference.

The Italian former referee is referring to the penalty in the game between Croatia and Spain. Sergio Ramos was taking a penalty kick in the game against Croatia and at the moment he touched the ball, Croatian goalie Subasic was already two metres from his goal-line. “Unfortunately, that goalkeeper moved forward, it was not spotted by the referee’s team,” Collina told the 12 remaining referees during a briefing. He also explained it to the journalists at the press conference. “It was a mistake in a match refereed well.”

On different occasions Björn Kuipers has told that this incident has sent him home during the 2016 European Championship.

Goalie leaving goal-line at penalty kick

New Laws of the Game

The new Laws of the Game say this about the penalty kick:

Assistant referees indicate when at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper moves off the goal line before the ball is kicked and if the ball crosses the line; if additional assistant referees have been appointed the assistant referee takes a position in line with the penalty mark.

The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goalposts until the ball has been kicked.

New to the rules is the fact that a goalie is cautioned if he makes an offence and no goal is scored. It remains the same the penalty needs to be retaken.

Summary table

The summary table is made by IFAB in the new Laws of the Game, revised for the 2016-2017 season. Underlined words are new compared to the previous rule books.

Penalty kick summary


  • Zarul

    I watched a penalty shoot out in a cup final recently. One of the goalkeeper stood about a metre ‘behind’ the goal line before the kick is taken. This gives him a better angle of view. He saved 2 penalty kicks. Should the kicks be retaken?

    • Jan ter Harmsel

      Personally I would not have any problems with that. As long as he is not in front of the goal-line.
      Players who are behind the goal-line are considered on the goal-line as well (for offside for example), so I’d consider him on the goal-line.

      I am not sure how his angle is better, but I would not order a retake there. If you have a problem with it, you can easily solve this by ask him to stay on the goal-line before you whistle to take the PK.

  • Ashraf

    If the goalkeeper took 2 steps forward, and saved the ball, a retake will occur, is a yellow card a must? or referee can just retake the kick and warn the keeper without a card?

  • Parth Chaudhari

    If goalie is in the goal line (between goal line and net) and he saved the goal. Is this considered as goal or no goal? If goalie crosses goal line with a ball in his hands( ball not touches the ground) is considered as goal or no goal?

  • Bob Baker

    Why do referees waste time warning attackers not to encroach and keepers not to leave their line at penalties. The players know the rules.

    • Jan ter Harmsel

      I beg to differ. They might know for penalty kicks, but not for many other things. So it’s always good to explain some of prevent some. And with the goalkeepers I’d do that too, as it would be easier when you don’t have to disallow it. Some people need a reminder. For all other players especially at pro level I think they over-warn, as they never act on encroachment if these players do not intervene. IMO the LOTG could change and we should only order a re-take if any of the encroaching players gets involved. That’s how it’s applied anyways.

  • Enoch Dagba

    If a goalie steps off the goal line with both his feet before the spot kick was taken,the kicker goes on to miss the penalty,not from the goalies save,but because he clearly shoots wide, should the penalty be retaken or goal awarded since he wasn’t responsible for saving the initial shot?

    • Jan ter Harmsel

      The ball was missed, so a goal will not be awarded in any circumstances. If the goalkeeper has no influence in the miss, there will be a goal-kick.

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