Disallowed Goal from A Pass Back Violation Restart

In the 26th minute of a match played July 27 by Columbus at Colorado, the referee stopped play for an indirect free kick violation.  An apparent goal scored from a quick restart was disallowed.  All elements of this sequence of events were handled properly.

First, the assistant referee and the referee recognized an uncommon Law 12 offense often referred to as a “pass back” violation.  The offense rests on three events occurring in the following sequence:

  • The ball is kicked (played with the foot) by a teammate of the goalkeeper,
  • This action is deemed to be deliberate rather than a deflection, and
  • The goalkeeper handles the ball directly (no intervening touch or play of the ball by anyone else)

 The attached clip (Click here to view) clearly demonstrates that these requirements were met.

  • The ball was deliberately kicked by Columbus player #12 (Gavin).
  • The ball was then directly handled by the Columbus goalkeeper (Hesmer).

If the ball had continued on into the net, despite having been handled by the Columbus goalkeeper, the referee would have applied advantage and counted the goal.