Penalty Kick

NOTE: Information found in this article was cited from the official “Laws of the Game” which can be found on FIFA.com.

You’ve broken through the defense and are on your way towards the net all alone. As you enter the penalty area, you’ve already decided where to place the ball. You’re about to take a shot, when all of a sudden, a defender slides in and causes you to fall. Will the referee call a penalty kick?

A penalty kick is awarded if any of the following offences are committed by a player inside his/her own penalty area, regardless of the position of the ball, as long as the ball is in play:

  • Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an opponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent
  • Holds an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty area)

The ball must be placed on the penalty mark, which is 12 yards from the goal line. The player taking the penalty kick must be properly identified, but does not have to be the same player that was fouled. All other players must remain outside of the penalty area until the kick is taken.

The goalkeeper must remain on the goal line facing the kicker until the kick is taken. The goalkeeper is allowed to move along the goal line, but cannot move forward until the kick is taken.

The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward. Once the penalty kick is taken, the player who took the kick is not allowed to touch the ball again until it has touched another player. If the player touches the ball before it has touched another player, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team.

If the player taking the penalty kick or a teammate of the player does not follow the rules during the kick, the following will apply:

  • the referee will allow the kick to be taken
  • if the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken
  • if the ball does not enter the goal, an indirect free kick is given to the opposing team from the spot where the infringement occurred

If the goalkeeper or a teammate of the goalkeeper does not follow the rules during the kick, the following will apply:

  • the referee will allow the kick to be taken
  • if the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded
  • if the ball does not enter the goal, the kick is retaken
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