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When attacking and playing under enemy goal. Goal keeper is rushing to ball and attacker also.

When ball is on the ground and goalkeeper has put his one hand on top of the ball, can the attacker hit the ball away from under goalkeepers hand?

Basically goalkeeper just got to the ball, but has not actually got the ball in his hand, but rather it is on the ground and just touching it.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

According to FIFA:

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

So in the situation described in the question, the goalkeeper is deemed to be in control of the ball and the attacker would be committing a foul.

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Furthermore, you don't often see people attack the ball if the keeper appears to have any sort of possession of the ball. It's a really easy way to get a straight red card, if you make any sort of rough contact (spikes to body, knock to his head, etc). – Nicholas V. May 12 '14 at 12:29

From the 2013-2014 FIFA Laws of the Game, p. 120


A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball:

  • while the ball is between his hands or between his hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body)
  • while holding the ball in his outstretched open hand
  • while in the act of bouncing it on the ground or tossing it into the air

When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent.


Restart of play

  • Indirect free kick from the position where the offence occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)

Considering your scenario, if the goalkeeper has as much as a finger on the ball and it's also touching the ground, the post, another part of his body, or even the opponent (all of these are surfaces), he cannot be challenged. An indirect free kick should be awarded to the goalkeeper's team.

If it's not clear as to who made contact with the ball first, most referees will let play continue, as any infringement is doubtful.

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Would the downvoter care to explain the problem with this answer? – studro Aug 27 '14 at 0:44

Some referees call it a foul some do not. It depends if they have possession of the ball. Today, when playing someone got fouled when the keeper had one hand on the ball. Depends on referee.

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I'm pretty sure the rule is unless the goalie has the ball in the air it is playable if touching the ground, so one hand ON the ball ON the grass (or "surface" as I'm reading here..")means an opposing player can still go for it.. This is the reason I looked this up, just to confirm my memory, but haven't got to it yet, but I will...

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I suggest you read studro's answer, which directly quotes the laws. – Philip Kendall Feb 18 at 23:17

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