Blog,  case study

Joe Hart has LOTG on his side after stupid goal kick

Referee Mike Dean denied QPR a goal in the match against Manchester City. But was he right to do so? Below the video you’ll find the answer plus an explanation based on the Laws of the Game.

The situation: Joe Hart takes a free kick inside his own box. He unfortunately touched the ball with his left foot before kicking it away with his right one. The ball was shot right at Austin. The QPR player did not hesitate, shoots on goal and scores.

But the referee did make the right call. So why has the referee made the right decision? Here are the rules that explain it.

With a normal free kick “the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player”. But was the ball already in play when Hart touched the ball for the second time? The answer is NO. The Laws of the Game say that the ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area – in this case the ball wasn’t. That’s not just for goal kicks, also for direct or indirect free kicks in the penalty area of the defending team. And if the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area, the kick must be retaken.

Philip Neville in Match of the Day. “That’s a brilliant decision”, he said, although he admitted he didn’t know that at the moment it happened. “I thought it was a free kick for QPR, but Mike Dean got is spot on. A great decision.

After the match Joe Hart explains ‘two kick’ rule to Charlie Austin on the pitch after QPR v Man City:

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