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Ask The Referee!

The answers to the questions on this page are not official AYSO nor FIFA rulings, but are the educated opinions of experienced Referees.

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Deception on Penalty Kicks

Q. I am curious to know if a player is allowed to do a fake kick action on a penalty kick?

A. Your question deals with an interpretation of Law 14 that has recently changed. A few years ago, the kicker was required to kick the ball in a smooth motion, no feints intended to deceive the goalkeeper were allowed. However, FIFA published a Q&A interpretation on Law 14 that specifically stated that feints by the kicker on a penalty kick were allowed, and now USSF provides us the following guidance (in the 2005 USSF Advice to Referees, Section 14.9):

"NOTE: A penalty kick being the punishment for an infringement which would otherwise be given a direct free kick restart, the kicker is allowed that same latitude in performing this kick as would be given in performing a free kick restart. Based on new guidance from the International Board, referees should not consider deceptive maneuvers to be a violation of Law 14. They should ensure that the run to the ball is initiated from behind the ball and the kicker is not using deception to delay unnecessarily the taking of the kick."

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