Bizarre! Encroachment during kicks from the penalty mark makes this one of craziest series to watch

Encroachment during kicks from the penalty mark led to one of the craziest penalty series to watch. One team thought they won, but a retake was ordered. Because of encroachment a goalkeeper was sent to the dressing rooms. And one team cheered so intense after a save, you might think the game was over, but wasn’t yet. In this blog post everything explained on how to handle as a referee.

But first of all, have a look at the clip yourself. Get a pen and paper and write down what you notice in the kicks from the penalty mark. What events or decisions stand out for you?

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Uefa referee documentary Man in the middle

New: Uefa referee documentary Man in the middle. A great insight in the world of refereeing. I’ll add all links to new episodes (4 in total) on this page. “This is a very important documentary for UEFA and our family of referees”, says Uefa’s referee boss Robert Rosetti.

Series with subtitles in other languagues

Screenshot from Uefa referee documentary Man in the Middle

Uefa about the series

Uefa released a statement on the tv series, which will be aired on a weeky basis and has 4 episodes. You can watch the series free on with an account. The series “tracks the professional and private lives of 16 match officials from 11 countries over an 18-month period (February 2019 to August 2020). Each is among an elite group of referees selected by UEFA to officiate at matches in Europe’s premier club competition.”

Share your thoughts about the series

I love to hear your thoughts about the series. Please comment belown or on my Instagram account.

Charles Corver, Dutch referee of the century, has passed away at age 84

Charles Corver, former FIFA referee, has passed away at the age of 84 on November 10th 2020. That’s what Dutch football association KNVB has announced. Charles Corver was named Dutch referee of the 20th century by football weekly Voetbal International.

He officiated in four European Cup finals and the final of the Intercontinental Cup. And yet, despite his impressive career, his name is associated most often with that incident in the semi-final of the 1982. Do you remember? That’s during the World Cup when German keeper Harald Schumacher crashed into French midfielder Patrick Battiston. “Well, it’s not always your best performance that brings you fame,” says Charles Corver, when he was 80 years old in an interview on Dutch Referee Blog. “A single decision can linger in football fans’ minds forever. By the way, at the time no-one held that mistake against me; I even received a 9.5, the highest mark during the tournament, from my assessor. And the KNVB, UEFA, FIFA all assigned me to some pretty great matches later that year.”

(Thanks again to Ben from for translating this story – much appreciated)

Charles Corver in Uefa Cup game between PAOK and Sevilla

Charles Corver in Uefa Cup game between PAOK and Sevilla

You can look back on a wonderful career. Having officiated in four European Cup finals, including the 1977 European Cup final in front of 92,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, and the final of the 1974 Intercontinental Cup (the precursor of the FIFA Club World Cup). How do you look back on your career?

“My fondest memory is the final of the Intercontinental Cup between Independiente of Buenos Aires and Atlético Madrid, as that assignment came totally out of the blue. In previous years these ties had become infamous for the violent on-pitch conduct and dirty tactics. So when FIFA selected me to officiate this important but likely very difficult tie, it came as a big surprise. Apparently, Artemio Franchi, who headed FIFA’s referees committee at the time, had a lot of confidence in my ability.” Charles Corver recalls the tie with satisfaction. “The papers, too, heaped praise on me for my performance.”

What does it do to you when in spite of your distinguished career most fans seem to remember you only for that Schumacher-Battiston collision?

“It was the best semi-final ever played during any final tournament on any continent. I never saw the incident, as everyone’s eyes in the stadium followed the ball. The moment I saw Battiston prone on the pitch, I went over to my assistant Robert Valentine from Scotland, who told me it was not intentional. Even Dutch television commentator Evert ten Napel admitted that he too followed the ball’s course, which went just wide. Throughout the rest of the match the players never gave me grief for the decision either. Yes, in retrospect, I should have sent Schumacher off, of course, for using excessive force.”

Watch the Schumacher Battistion collision >

“The initial highly complimentary reviews were soon followed by severe criticism. I wasn’t too happy with that, obviously. But both FIFA and UEFA rewarded me with some great ties that final year of my career. They recognised my achievements, which was wonderful. Hardly had I come home from Spain when I was assigned for a European Championships qualifying tie. I officiated Denmark-England and a quarter final match in the European Cup. Yet that season had even more surprises in store for me, as I was selected to ref the 1983 UEFA Cup final between Benfica and Anderlecht.”

“Incidentally, FIFA assessor Latyshev, who himself had refereed the 1962 World Cup final in Chile, awarded me the highest mark of the entire World Cup tournament, a 9.5. Just goes to show that rather than for his career performance a referee can achieve fame for failing to see a collision. These days, you have your assistants and the fourth official aiding you through your headset, or there’s the video referee standing by to show you a replay. I had none of those things to help me back then, unfortunately.”

What, in your opinion, are the qualities and competencies a referee requires in order to grow as a referee and rise to the top?

Charles Corver: “I’ve always found the following five qualities to be essential:

  • Profound knowledge of the laws of the game
  • Excellent fitness in order to be able to follow play closely
  • Authority and personality
  • The courage to take unpopular decisions
  • The fortune to see those things that matter

“A key thing to remember is not to be arrogant but still enter the field of play in the belief that you’re going to nail this match. You should have confidence in yourself, in your ability. I was never nervous before or during a match. Of course, it is important to radiate confidence in your normal working life as well.”

Charles Corver in 2016

Charles Corver combining work and World Cups

You used to work at Heineken. How did you combine your job and refereeing?

“I was national sales manager at Heineken for nearly 41 years. By the way, I would never have given up my job in favour of being a full-time referee, as some refs do nowadays. I should not like to be on call at least twenty hours a week. Training, yes, I did some intense training in my time, but I found it easy to combine with my job. Actually, I couldn’t have asked for a better job. Freddy (Heineken; the CEO of the Heineken conglomerate) gave me every possible support, enabling me to perform to the best of my ability. That way, it was possible for me to go the World Cup in Argentina for seven weeks and also to Spain four years later.

Not to mention all those European cup ties and FIFA internationals, not seldom outside Europe.  He did have one condition, though: I had to take and hand out business cards in as many as eight languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, you name it.”

When he finally hung up his whistle, Charles Corver was observer for UEFA, FIFA and KNVB for 22 years and a member of the KNVB’s disciplinary committee for 16 years.

The mood in Argentina, then under the control of the military junta led by general Videla, was dark and grim. “I was on the phone with my family a lot, telling them how I was doing. But there wasn’t really much to do for us in Buenos Aires. It was practically impossible to go out by yourself. If you wanted to leave the hotel, you’d get a detail of guards accompanying you. It’s not like we had any bad experiences, but in retrospect I can only say that being cooped up like that was bordering on the ridiculous. I did visit a lot of stadiums, though, as in those days it was normal for referees to also act as linesman or fourth official.”

Did you ever feel apprehensive or threatened during your career?

“I heard from other referees, like Jan Keizer, that some vengeful characters had thrown bricks through their windows. Of course, you’d only hear that later. I can’t say it ever happened to me. The only match that stirred up a great deal of trouble was at Feyenoord, where I awarded a penalty against the home team. After the match, Feyenoord directors offered to sneak me out the back door and escort me to my car as they feared the reactions of their fans. I did not want that. I just wanted to leave the stadium the normal way. Outside, I simply went up to the waiting fans, calmly explained my position and was allowed to get in my car and drive off without any trouble.”

What would you say are the key differences between football then and now?

“Referees who take up the whistle nowadays have a more difficult job, I’d say. Discipline, respect: they mean different things now. Back in my day, players still showed respect to referees with personality or authority. I was much impressed by Bas Nijhuis recently, when he took a hard line of action towards players constantly shooting their mouths off or making signs of disrespect. My thoughts: stop that stupid protesting.”

“I had a reputation of being anything but a home referee and allowing manly football”, Corver reminisces. It’s the way he played football himself during his 10-year career. He played in the first squad of TONEGIDO, an amateur club in his home town of Voorburg, near The Hague. “But I had a sixth sense for dirty play and gamesmanship.” It allowed Corver to get away with dishing out few yellows and even fewer reds during his long career.  “An early unmistakable, stern reprimand would usually suffice.”

Corver’s maxim was (and is): You cannot win the respect of anyone but through correct, courageous and consistent conduct.

Corver books Johan Cruijff

Recalling his first match reffing Johan Cruyff at Ajax’ De Meer stadium, Charles Corver says: “He protested my decision to award a penalty against Ajax by waving his hand in a gesture of disapproval. He’d grown a habit of doing that, and most of my colleagues tolerated it.  Not me. I immediately showed him a yellow card. After that, he must have thought: ‘Better be careful around Corver and stop doing that.'”

“The disciplinary committee came down on him hard as well. Still, in spite of this incident, I always had great report with Cruyff. He’d accept my authority. Twice when I reffed Barcelona he came into my dressing room after the match and gave me his shirt. My son is still proud to own those. Once players know the ref won’t let them fool around, they’ll stop doing it. As a referee, you do have the power to project a certain image and build a reputation for yourself.”

Corona: Training at home for referees

Training at home for referees is a must now you have to stay in your house due to the corona virus. But what are the alternatives? In this blog post I’ll give you some ideas.

Another time highlighting this, as in NL we’re in a second lockdown and training options are sparse in many countries. Take care, stay safe!

1. Go out in nature.

In The Netherlands sports clubs and my referee association in The Hague are closed, but I’m allowed to go outside. I loved my run in the park and there’s a lot of nature to run in. 

4 types of referee training

2. Core stability training at home

At home there’s lots of stuff to do, because there’s more to train for than running. Core stability exercises are a great way to help for your stability and balance. If you start now, you might get used to it for the season, as you’ll benefit from that as well.

Core stability excercises referees

3. Check out home-workout videos on YouTube and Instagram

There’s plenty of exercises online if you don’t have any inspiration. For example this video where you do a cardio training without any equipment. And on this website a lot more video’s with home workouts.

4. Use the threadmill

If you have any: great tool to do your workouts on. You can stay at home and make sure you remain fit. One issue: there’s not much sport you can watch on tv while working out.

Women's Euro referee hotel fitness room

5. Have a walk with family

Every weekend you’re out for your games. You’ll probably train during the week. Now there’s a great opportunity, try to have time with your family at home (make sure not to gather with too many people these days!) and combine that with being active.

6. Use the jumping rope

Yes, the old-fashioned jumping ropes. A great tool to train a lot of muscles in your body. Works perfect for an intense work-out. If you live in an aparment building as I do, please try outside 😉

7. The 7 minute work-out app

The 7 minute work-out app is a great way to train every day. There might be less opportunities at home to train for a full hour, but this workout app will help you do some crucial exercises – maybe even twice a day.

One for Android and Apple Store.

8. Use resistance bands

I bought a resistance band a long time a go. I am not a frequent user, but it’s a perfect tool to use when training at home.

9. Install your pull-up bar in the garage

One of the suggestions by a reader, who can’t go to the gym anymore, because they are all closed. He is curious what all other refs do and tells me he installed a ull-up bar in the garage.

And what about getting the fitness equipment to your house. Like my Instagram page for more inspiration.

10. Yoga for runners or stretching

In the beginning I wasn’t doing any yoga at all, but mrs. DutchReferee showed me the benefits. Adriene on YouTube gives you great instructions and she also has some specific exercises for runners or for stretching. I have to admit: something you should give a try as well.

11. Walk the stairs in your apartment building

I live on the 13th floor and going to pick up my mail by using the stairs is a good one if you can’t go out. Not much mail these days, but curiousity keeps me going down. Every week I get some new referee badges from readers, so I’ll have a look for sure 🙂

12. Online referee development session

FA Refereeing organised an online referee development session. Enjoy!

13. Playing tennis with saucepans

Just an idea from top tennis player Novak Djokovic: play tennis with saucepans. If you need to stay at home, you can still move and play with your partner.

14. Insights by Canadian national AR

National Assistant Referee Gérard-Kader Lebuis has a few tips:

Share your ideas

I love to hear your ideas and thoughts on this. Share tips on or reply below on this post. Please let us help each other.

Goalkeepers and penalty kicks

Goalkeepers and penalty kicks: what does the referee have to do if a goalkeeper does not touch the line when the kick is taken? And is there any difference if the ball is not saved, but goes wide? You’ll learn about that in this case study.

Since 2019 the Laws of the Game clearly mention that the goalkeeper has to be on or above the goal-line. With the use of VAR in the the 2019 Women’s World Cup we noticed something really new. Where goalkeepers usually take a step forward with penalty kicks, the video referee interferes at this final tournament in Paris.

But is the VAR correct to do so?

At that time, yes VAR was. But due to a recent Laws of the Game change, there are situations where play continues even if the goalkeeper was too early from the line. But when? That’s what we’ll see in the examples below.

A retake is ordered in this situation

Firstly, we’ll watch the game between Scotland and Argentina. The Argentinian penalty kick is saved, but the referee orders a retake. 

And what do the Laws of the Game say: When the ball is kicked, the defending goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, or in line with, the goal line.

Although the goalkeeper coming of her line here is only visible by VAR, the fact is that she is very slightly of her line and she saves the ball.

And have we seen this before?

Yes, during a men’s game when Dutch referee Björn Kuipers was active at the 2016 European Championships. “Unfortunately, that goalkeeper moved forward, it was not spotted by the referee’s team”, Collina said then. Check out the situation.

Same, but slightly different penalty in France vs Nigeria

In the previous situation the ball was saved by the goalkeeper, but sometimes the goalkeeper has no influence on the outcome. That’s what we’ll see at the penalty kick in the game between France and Nigeria. VAR Danny Makkelie asks the referee to go the screen, after which she awards a penalty kick. In the clip below at 5 minutes and 10 seconds that awarded penalty kick is taken. As you can see, Wendie Renard from France misses it, but the VAR intervenes.

But what makes this a different situation? Lets see below the clip.

Video highlights of that game

We remember the LOTG about the goalkeeper touching the line? Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from Cameroon is not touching the line with at least one foot. But did she have an influence?

Interesting is what the commentator in the clip says at that time. “In fairness to referee Melissa Borjas” she has told the goalkeeper she needs to stay with two feet on the goal-line.

The referee then warns the referee for the second kick and asks her if she understood the rules. But the IFAB has concluded with all football associations that a goalkeeper who has no impact on the kicker or does not save the ball, should not be punished.

The Laws of the Game now say: if the goalkeeper offends: if the ball misses the goal or rebounds from the crossbar or goalpost(s), the kick is only retaken if the goalkeeper’s offence clearly impacted on the kicker.

With the 2020-2021 Laws of the Game the France – Nigeria penalty should not be retaken.

VAR Protocol

The VAR protocol is added to the Laws of the Game and is very clear on this matter.

Protocol says: “The categories of decision/incident which may be reviewed in the event of a potential clear and obvious error or serious missed incident are” in the category “goal/no goal”:

  • offence by goalkeeper and/or kicker at the taking of a penalty kick or
  • encroachment by an attacker or defender who becomes directly involved in play if the penalty kick rebounds from the goalpost, crossbar or goalkeeper

Other encroachment offences and other infringements which do not directly affect whether a goal is scored cannot be reviewed.” See a case study about encroachment by players.

Read the full VAR protocol

How it changes things

Because the 1/8 final game between Norway and Australia went to kicks from the penalty mark, referee Riem Hussein had to deal with a unique situation. IFAB has given dispensation to not book goalkeepers (more about that below), but as referee you don’t want 10 out of 10 kicks being retaken.

What Hussien did was a long talk with both goalkeepers to prevent that from going to happen.

Referee Riem Hussein talking with the Norwegian and Australian goalkeeper

No yellow cards during kicks from the penalty mark

During the 2019 Women’s World Cup there would not be yellow cards for goalkeepers for leaving the goal-line during kicks from the penalty mark.

In the 2020-2021 Laws of the Game there was a permanent change. The goalkeeper will be verbally warned for the first offence in the penalty shootout if that had an impact on the player or the outcome. They only get shown a yellow card for the second offence during the series of kicks from the penalty mark.

Below an explantion from IFAB for this law change.

Mellissa Borjas shows goalkeeper a yellow card

IFAB explanation of the idea behind the rule change

The IFAB has put it this way in the 2019-2020 Laws of the Game pdfs.

“Goalkeepers are not permitted to stand in front of or behind the line. Allowing the goalkeeper to have only one foot touching the goal line (or, if jumping, in line with the goal line) when the penalty kick is taken is a more practical approach as it is easier to identify than if both feet are not on the line. As the kicker can ‘stutter’ in the run, it is reasonable that the goalkeeper can take one step in anticipation of the kick.”

To be clear: that a goalkeeper has to be on his or her line is not new. It’s just clarified.

In the 2020-2021 edition IFAB added about the verbal warning:

  • Most goalkeeper encroachment results from mis-anticipating when the ball will be kicked, so the goalkeeper should not be cautioned for a first offence but must be cautioned for any further offence(s) at that kick and/or any subsequent kick

Also new on goalkeepers and penalty kicks

“The referee must not signal for the penalty kick to be taken if the goalkeeper is touching the goalposts, crossbar or net, or if they are moving e.g. the goalkeeper has kicked/shaken them.”