Scoring an indirect free kick in opponents’ goal

Scoring an indirect free kick in opponents’ goal. That’s something you don’t want to deal with as referee. Especially when they make such a wonderful goal as Joao Pedro did in the Serie A. Do you disallow it? What signal do you give and for how long? And how do you restart the game?

All of that is explained in this case study, including a video clip of the incident.

Screenshot from referee from tv channel Ziggo Sport.

Laws of the Game about it

The Laws of the Game are clear about scoring from an indirect free kick: “if an indirect free kick is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded.”

Because the player shot straight at the goal, we have to look at the signal for referees. “The referee indicates an indirect free kick by raising the arm above the head.” That’s the signal we see in the image above, which is taken when the referee explains his decision.

How long do you need to raise the arm?

But did the referee have his arm in the air? Or couldn’t Joao Pedro know that he wasn’t allowed to score directly? The LOTG say “this signal is maintained until the kick has been taken and the ball touches another player, goes out of play or it is clear that a goal cannot be scored directly.”

And if you watch the clip below you can see the arm of referee Marco Piccinini is up all the time. So, correct decision!

TIP: Make sure you clearly communicate to the players it’s an indirect free kick. Not by the arm signal, but also verbally. Then players won’t attempt to score and prevents you from deadling with situations like this.

But what if you forget to keep the arm up? A different situation below the clip.

Video of scoring an indirect free kick in opponents’ goal

Scoring an indirect free kick in opponents’ goal. How the referee dealt with it correctly.

Why IDFK signal is so important

An indirect free kick must be retaken if the referee fails to signal that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal. You think that never happens? Check out this IDFK case study where you’ll see it’s very important to signal, which the referee forgot in that situation.

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