When taking a penalty, some players pause during their run-up, before kicking the ball forward.

Occasionally they halt long enough and the goalkeeper goes one way, then they shoot.

Is this legal or should the player taking the kick be booked for this?

  • 1
    Have you tried to look up the rules on the internet on penalty kick? How long is "too long"?
    – user10632
    Sep 16, 2016 at 18:49
  • @Rathony We generally accept questions on Laws with minimal prior research and effort, as they are a) easy to answer (or mark as a duplicate if required) and b) Sports Stack Exchange is indexed by search engines a lot better than the official IFAB Laws that are used as the basis for the answer. Sep 17, 2016 at 11:30
  • @studro I agree with you. That's why I didn't close-vote it nor downvote it. Now, the OP should make his question clear and my comment was intended for his answer to the "How long is too long?" question. I believe it is very important to write an answer to this question.
    – user10632
    Sep 17, 2016 at 11:50
  • @Rathony After viewing the edit history, I believe my comment was out of line, because you were originally addressing the question before Nij improved its clarity with an edit. You are quite right, and I apologise for this. Sep 17, 2016 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


From IFAB Laws of the Game, Law 14, part 2,

... play will be stopped and restarted with an indirect free kick, regardless of whether or not a goal is scored:

feinting to kick the ball once the kicker has completed the run-up (feinting in the run-up is permitted); the referee cautions the kicker

Thus, feinting during the run-up is permitted, but feinting once the player has completed the run-up is not.

In the latter case, the kicker should be cautioned. From 1st June 2016, the defending team will receive an indirect free kick even if the ball enters the goal. Previously, if the ball entered the goal, a retake would occur after the caution was issued.

From IFAB Laws of the Game, Law 14, FAQ:

Q2: Why is illegal feinting by the penalty kicker an IDFK even when the player scores?

A player who deliberately stops at the end of their run and then feints to gain an advantage is deliberately breaking the Law. This is an act of deliberate unsporting behaviour so, as well as the caution (YC), the player does not deserve to have a second chance to score. This stronger punishment should deter an offence which is sometimes difficult to detect.


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