It is well known that a soccer referee should allow any team to play a penalty even if a period of play has ended.

Should the referee allow the team who has the penalty to continue the penalty kick rebound, or, should they blow the final whistle soon after the penalty is taken, since there is no time remaining?

  • I think the point you're trying to get at is the wording change in the current laws. It used to state that the kick is completed when the referee decides it is over, but now has the wording as provided in Nij's answer. On first reading, it appears that rebounds are now allowed, but I'm sure this is simply editorial oversight and players are still not allowed a follow-up from a rebound (as this would also apply to kicks from the penalty mark aka shootouts as well). Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 1:59
  • What time are we talking about exactly?
    – Don_Biglia
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 8:17
  • 1
    @Don_Biglia - this question is about the a penalty kick that is taken after time has expired. If a referee awards a penalty kick with seconds left, and chooses to not add more time, the penalty kick still must be taken. However, the match is over when it is complete. Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 11:35

3 Answers 3


Law 7.4, from the IFAB Laws of the Game, states

If a penalty kick has to be taken or retaken, the half is extended until the penalty kick is completed.

Thus, the referee should blow the whistle to end play when the kick is completed.

Law 14.1, from the same source, states

The penalty kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play or the referee stops play for any infringement of the Laws.

This definition is reasonably straightforward: the game should continue despite time expiring until such a point as one of the above conditions is met.

Additional documents are intended for officials and the management of situations of special importance where the appropriate and lawful procedure or action may not be clear. However, while it does discuss various points around the taking of penalties and of timekeeping, this is not an area where further clarification is made.

Therefore, by a strict reading of the law as written, play continues until it naturally stops.

  • I tend to believe this was simply editorial oversight, and referees will not be allowing players a follow-up kick. Such a massive change would surely have been discussed further as the other major changes have been. I have sought clarification from other refereeing organisations on this matter and will post as answer as soon as I know how this will be interpreted. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 2:00
  • @studro I'm not so sure. This revision seems to be very much the IFAB modernising the outlook of the laws, compared to the very traditional FIFA formulation. Since time is "lost" for the penalty to be set up, it makes sense to "regain" some time for the last play of the game immediately after the penalty is taken. Thus, play would continue as described above, and end-of-time signalled either once the ball is dead or stopped while live, or (as in existing practise with corners) when sufficiently far away from the penalty box.
    – Nij
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 2:48
  • In most social or recreational competitions, there is no added time, as it makes scheduling too different. In these competitions, referees are expected to call full time as soon as time is up, even if the ball is in the penalty area. Obviously time is extended for a penalty kick to be taken, but no time is added for the setup, meaning it is effectively up once the kick is complete. In your corner kick example, the referee would not wait until the ball has left the area in such a competition. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 3:14
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    An official shouldn't wait until it's left the box at any level, but as you say, those who may be more liable to, and therefore want to avoid inciting controversy will ignore their watch because "I forgot to include the time for that last sub" (whether or not any subs occurred at all, being moot).
    – Nij
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 4:50
  • 2
    I think the perfect example that illustrates this answer, and the question in general, is the Watford vs Leicester Championship Play-off 12/13, where Leicester were awarded a penalty in the fifth minute of added time (4 minutes were given by the officials), for the Watford goalkeeper to make a double save. Play then continued, Watford broke on the counter-attack and scored at the other end, winning the game.
    – ImClarky
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 11:18

Law 14 - The Penalty Kick, Section 1 - Procedure states:

The penalty kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play or the referee stops play for any offence.

Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken and completed at the end of each half of the match or extra time. When additional time is allowed, the penalty kick is completed when, after the kick has been taken, the ball stops moving, goes out of play, is played by any player (including the kicker) other than the defending goalkeeper, or the referee stops play for an offence by the kicker or the kicker’s team. If a defending team player (including the goalkeeper) commits an offence and the penalty is missed/saved, the penalty is retaken.

Therefore, the kicking team is not allowed a follow-up; as soon as anyone other than the goalkeeper touches the ball after the kick is taken (provided they do not commit an offence in doing so), the period of play is over.


Law 14 - (Penalty Kicks/Extended Time) states: "....At the end of the half or at the end of the game, time will be extended to take (or retake if necessary) a penalty kick. When a penalty kick has been legally taken or retaken at the end of either half or during a tie-breaking procedure, play is over as soon as a goal is scored (directly, or indirectly off the goalkeeper, the goal post, the crossbar, or any combination thereof); when any player other than the defending goalkeeper touches the ball; or when the referee has decided that a goal has not been scored."

I think this law clearly prohibit the action of scoring rebounded balls. by covering this scenario implicitly in the following line: "..when any player other than the defending goalkeeper touches the ball.."


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