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In soccer it is my assumption that any player can exchange their position say defender to forward etc. without waiting for the ball to leave play or without making any explicit indication to the other team.

I would like to know how this applies to the goal keeper:

  • Can any player assume the role of goal keeper?
  • Do they need to change clothing with the goal keeper?
  • Do they need to announce this change to either the referee or opposing team?
  • Do they need to wait for the ball to leave play?
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According to Law 3 of FIFA Laws of the game.

Any of the other players may change places with the goalkeeper, provided that:

  1. the referee is informed before the change is made
  2. the change is made during a stoppage in the match

I could not find mention of the changing of the jersey, but as per custom, usually the goalie in indicated by wearing a different color.

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According to Law 4, the goal keeper must wear colours that distinguish him from other players, the referee and the assistant referees – rest_day Feb 29 '12 at 1:26
In instances where the goalkeeper is sent off and the team does not have any more substitutions left, an infield player becomes the goalkeeper and he wears the jersey of the sent off keeper inside out to hide the number. – Max Aug 31 '12 at 14:04
@rest_day is correct, goalie must always wear a jersey with different color from the other players. In addition to the comment by Max, in INDOOR SOCCER, if a team is behind towards the end of the game, they take their goalie and bring a forward in to even up the score (much like ice hockey), but a player has to be wearing the goalie jersey. This strategy is not practiced in outdoor soccer however. – alamoot May 26 '14 at 17:36

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