Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Is this an infringement at a free-kick?

This is a classic quick free kick that goes wrong.

In the MLS game between Columbus and New England back in 2007 Marcos Gonzalez of Columbus, is fouled, and he takes the free kick quickly. However New England Wells Thompson, is only a couple of yards off the ball when the quick kick is taken. Thompson raises his leg to the ball and blocks the kick. The ball goes off his foot directly to Adam Cristman, who runs on and scores.

 Should the goal be given?

 The free kick laws state that if an attacking team takes a quick free kick and it hits an opponent not the full distance away he cannot claim an infringement if the player controls the ball without moving towards it.

 Is the New England player moving to the ball?

Have a look:


5 Comments so far
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I think the goal should stand, not least because the poor video quality makes it hard to se if the player actually moves towards the ball. Also, as stated the law says “if the player controls the ball”. As far as I can see the player simply sticks his foot in the way – the fact it goes to his own player is luck rather than any divine ball control. Moral of the story? If you are going to take a quick free kick – get it right!

Comment by Matt

No the goal shouldnt stand the defender has played at the ball without being 10 yards away. If it had just struck the defender and no movement was made towards the ball then the goal should have stood, but in my opinion he raises his foot.

Comment by MARTIN

No the goal should not stand because the New England player was making no attempt to move 10 yds away from where the kick was taken.If the kick had accidentaly hit him it should count but he deliberately interfered in the play.

Comment by William Kelly

There is confusion here as there is nothing stated in Law 13 about quick free kicks. It simply states that opponents must be 10 yards away when the kick is taken, so from this point alone the kick should be retaken. However FIFA do provide aditional advice for referees and this does mention the quick free kick. This advice may cause confusion in this instance. Firstly the advice says “If a player decides to take a free kick quickly and an opponent who is less than 10 yards from the ball intercepts it, the referee must allow play to continue.” If you apply this then the goal should be allowed. The advice also says “If a player decides to take a free kick quickly and an opponent who is near the ball deliberately prevents him taking the kick, the referee must caution the player for delaying the restart.” My opinion in this example is that the latter advice should apply as I believe the player is very close and deliberately attempts to block the free kick. As a referee I would apply this advice for any opponent who was less than 10 yards away when the kick was taken who attempted to get the ball as this is against the spirit of the game.

Comment by Steve

The player is facing the free-kick taker and making no attempt to get 10 yards away. He is deliberately trying to slow down the taking of the free kick to allow his team to regroup. As a referee myself I would have the kick retaken and yellow card the player in question.

Comment by Gary

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