October 2, 2014

Neuer's Double Contact missed by Scottish Referee Team

Sometimes it is hard to find words for certain match situations and the following clip shows one of them. It is taken from CSKA Moskva-Bayern München refereed by William Collum of Scotland, who missed a blatant infringement committed by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. 

The goalkeeper deliberately controlled the ball with his hands to prevent a corner-kick from being awarded and then took the ball into both hands again before an opponent touched the ball.

Law 12 clarifies this:

"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:

- controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
- touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
- touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
- touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate"

Therefore, the referee should have awarded an indirect free-kick in favour of CSKA Moskva from the position where the offence occurred. Additionally the Law emphasizes "releasing the ball from his possession". This must be understood as releasing it from his hands deliberately touching (in this case even manoeuvring) the ball. The guidelines of Law 12 further clarify this:

"A goalkeeper is not permitted to touch the ball with his hand inside his own penalty area iif he handles the ball again after it has been released from his possession and has not touched any other player under the following circumstances:
- the goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball by touching it with any part of his hands or arms except if the ball rebounds accidentally from him, e.g. after he has made a save
- possession of the ball includes the goalkeeper deliberately parrying the ball."

It is not understandable how three match officials - referee Collum, assistant referee Chambers and additional assistant referee Beaton - can miss such an obvious infringement. The motto "Now we see more" does not suit to that. A good example of how to manage such situations can be found here.


  1. Anonymous3/10/14 07:09

    Technically you are right and regarding the laws of the game you can say it's a infringement. However I can fully understand that Collum hasn't give a indirect free kick for this.. because nearly nobody knows this rule (players, spectators, tv reporters, media etc). Therefore it would be more confusing for everybody then let the play continue. Sometimes you have to be clever and not always by the book. Rule 18 (comment sense). But please don't shoot me if you have opposite thoughts :)

    1. Anonymous3/10/14 09:09

      I don't agree with it, but I can understant it as well. So you are not alone.
      But I have to point out, that referees are there to make these unpopular decicions to ensure, that LotG are followed.

      / BC

    2. Well you definitely have a point, even in amateur matches you sometimes think whether it would be better to keep an eye closed in such or similar situations. But at the end these referees should apply the laws of the game. It corresponds to common sense that nobody can know the rule as long as nobody applies them. Stark made in Milan, to the surprise of many, but by his body language everybody was able to understand it...
      Your description rather reminds me on the comfortable way of refereeing, escaping trouble and unpopular decisions - I understand your point, but for sure we cannot promote this approach on the blog.

  2. Anonymous3/10/14 08:15

    Absolutely correct decision of the refereeing team. Point of the statement in the LoTG is to prevent unsporting behaviour, time wasting, to prevent decadent tactics...
    In this case it's obvious that GK prevents ball to go out of field of play, we could say that he's not in the full control of the ball and that was intrvention.
    I could cardly accept such a blaming of refereeing team for this particular case.

    1. Neuer took an advantage having an unsporting behavior because a player from CSKA Moskva tried to challenge him for the ball and he used again his hands to control it. He aso wasted further time.
      It might have been a different case if Neuer had made a save immediately after the first touch .Rewatch the scene...

  3. Anonymous3/10/14 09:35

    Obviously the referee should have awarded an indirect free kick for CSKA. I do not agree with the statements made above. Especially the first person stating that you shouldn't award a foul because other people don't know the rule.
    Neuer deliberately handles the ball, preventing a cornerkick. He takes advantage by doing so, wasting time by waiting for CSKA players to attack him.

    100% a foul.

    1. Anonymous3/10/14 11:03

      If Neuer hadn't touched ball firstly, the player wouldn't tried to attack him. The reason of Neuer intervention wasn't time wasting but opositely to speed up the play. Think in another way, what would happen if Neuer didn't play ball firstly.

    2. Anonymous3/10/14 11:06

      The reason just was to prevent a corner-kick in the 89th minute. After that, he took some seconds from the game time and got full control over the ball and further 6 seconds.

    3. Not a foul, it is an infringement.

  4. Anonymous3/10/14 10:48

    Just to make it absolutely clear. Some of the statements above can't be meant seriously.
    For UEFA the Stark decision was absolutely right. The Collum decision is a clear technical mistake by book. Common sense does not play any role in the case of black&white situations like this one.

  5. Anonymous3/10/14 10:51

    I agree with the decision took by the referee.
    When Neuer plays the ball the first time has not possession of the ball. so he can play the ball again with his hands.
    Please note that the law states that a goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball:
    - while the ball is in between his hands or between his hand and any surface.
    - while holding the ball in his outstretched open hand.
    - while in act of boucing it on the ground or tossing it into the air.

    If the ball was entering the goal everyone would say that was a legal play, so why would you think that just because he did the same movement to prevent a goalkick it isn´t a normal play?


    1. Anonymous3/10/14 10:55

      You are mixing up "in control of the ball" and "in possession of the ball".

    2. Anonymous3/10/14 10:56

      Sorry for 2x post, I forgot to add:
      - the goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball by touching it with any part of his hands or arms except if the ball rebounds accidentally from him, e.g. after he has made a save

      In this case control of the ball means something else than you, Patacao_ref, mean. The 3 points given by you mean when you cannot attack a goalkeeper. It's something different.

    3. Anonymous3/10/14 11:28

      Sorry, but I maintain my point of view.
      If he makes the same thing but to prevent a goal you would consider it was a save, however if he his 10m away from the goal you think that he has commited an offense.
      I believe that referee had a good decision.


    4. Yes, it would be different if it was a save. Read again the excerpt cited by Anonymous at 10:56: "...except if the ball rebounds accidentally from him, e.g. after he has made a save"

      It would be different if it was a save, because the Law says we should treat saves differently.

    5. Anonymous3/10/14 17:22

      You are getting caught up in the words and not in the meaning of the law, and that e.g. stands for example which means that are others situations that could fit in this example.

      I don´t believe the LoTG has a 2 different way of looking into a GK handling the ball inside the penalty area (first if he is in front of a goal and a second if he his 10m away).
      And I must say that in the portuguese version of the book there are no difference between "in control of the ball" and "in possession of the ball".
      but I´ve been reading carefuly the english version and I see that "possession of the ball includes the goalkeeper deliberately parrying the ball",i.e., possession of the ball includes the goalkeeper deliberately controling the ball in his hands or arms. Therefore (in my point of view) "in control of the ball" and "in possession of the ball" are the same thing, and clearly the GK wasn´t in control of the ball as I stated at 10.58AM.


    6. Anonymous3/10/14 17:46

      Once again....
      The Stark decision was ruled CORRECT (find link at the end of the top-post) by UEFA. If Stark's decision was correct, Collum's decision must be technically an error...

    7. A few points:
      - The Portuguese version of the LOTG is not an official FIFA translation. FIFA issues the LOTG in English, French, Spanish and German. Of these, the English version is authoritative and takes precedence over all others. So there is a difference between "controlling the ball" and "being in possession of the ball".
      - Whether you believe or not what the law should say is irrelevant; the law does make a difference between a save and "controlling the ball".
      - Words are all we have to judge. The meaning of the law is bound by what the written law says.

  6. Anonymous3/10/14 11:10

    You can discuss if one should give this free-kick as nobody in the stadium protested or wanted it. But nevertheless if there is somebody who must apply the laws of the game and make people behind tv screens understand such rules, it is a Champions League referee?! Or am I mistaken?

  7. Kassai did the same :D

    1. How was his overall performance by the way?

    2. As I wrote, it was a very tense match. Both teams wanted to foul more than play. I think he had a problem with what was a foul or what was not, but overally controlled the game well. Some controversies. I will deliver videos later today or tomorrow.

  8. Anonymous5/10/14 00:18

    I was at an amateur game today and witnessed an IDENTICAL incident as described here, and in exact same area, same movement / parrying by goalkeeper, exact same as this video! Nobody appealled, play continued, no decision by referee. Common sense?

    1. Maybe. The problem is that we cannot apply the laws of the game only if there are protesting players. Common sense should be above every rule, but following my interpretation this concerns more those rules that demand interpretation (Law 11, Law 12...). But not technical black-and-white laws. That's why we don't promote the "comfortable" solution for such incidents (which does not mean that I want penalties to be repeated for 10 cm encroachment by players..).


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