Blog,  Laws Of The Game

The back-pass rule: what would you decide?

The back-pass rule in football is sometimes still very difficult for players and even referees. The Laws of the Game say: “An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences: (…) 3. touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate.”

But it’s up to the referee to decide wether it is a deliberate back-pass. This video below (from 5:50 minutes) shows a player who touches the ball before the goalie picks it up. It’s a u21 match between Emmen and Dalen. In a Dutch group for referees someone asked what his colleagues thought about the situation. The reactions varied a lot: from “no doubt, indirect free kick because it’s a deliberate back pass” to “I’d not have whistled for a foul”.

What do you think about this situation concerning the back-pass rule? Deliberate back-pass or not?

PS: Did you notice the referee’s outfit? Then look again. Do you tuck your shirt into your shorts? I’d suggest you to do so, it looks more professional.


  • Ryan

    No, that’s never a deliberate pass-back. Also, the referee is wearing a bib — I think his proper shirt (which is black and clashes with one of the two teams) is tucked in but I wouldn’t suggest tucking in a bib. Actually, I’d suggest getting several coloured shirts to wear in these situations.

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