In football (or soccer for NA people), I wonder what would you be able to do if the following scenario was to happen:

  1. All 3 player substitutions are used.

  2. The Goalkeeper is made unable to continue the match (knocked out, broke an arm, you decide).

Since you can't change him out, will you have to play the remaining players of the game without a goalkeeper, or can a player pick up the gloves and finish the game as a goalkeeper?


According to IFAB Laws of the Game, Law 3 - The Players, 1. Number of players:

A match is played by two teams, each with a maximum of eleven players; one must be the goalkeeper.

And 4. Changing the goalkeeper:

Any of the players may change places with the goalkeeper if:

  • the referee is informed before the change is made
  • the change is made during a stoppage in play

Therefore, if a goalkeeper is sent off with a red card or can't continue to play because of injury after all substitutions are made, one of the outfield players must take over his position. The total number of players will be reduced to 10 from 11.

  • I guess the player that goes to be goaltender gets a minute to put the shirt and gloves on too. – Fredy31 Aug 18 '16 at 18:53
  • 2
    @Fredy31 That's why the change should be made during a stoppage. The rule clearly states so. – user10632 Aug 18 '16 at 19:05
  • 5
    Relevant: youtube.com/watch?v=79NLmSokD2I (Defender John O'Shea taking over as keeper, video shows him putting the gloves and jersey on) youtube.com/watch?v=Hbtgt6amNM0 (Center back Rio Ferdinand playing keeper) – Jay Aug 18 '16 at 19:08
  • 2
    More on the same theme - youtube.com/watch?v=x8XiUBB0cp4. Note that there's no rule compelling a goalkeeper to hang back near the goal (except on a penalty kick), so the outfielder can continue to play in his previous position. But he does have to dress in a different colour from his teammates. – Dawood ibn Kareem Aug 19 '16 at 3:37

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