If a player scores a goal and in the time between the goal and the kick off again, if an opponent player pushes or punches the goal scorer, what kind of action is taken? (The conceding team might do this because they're salty) After a goal a free kick cannot be given because a center start is done.

  • Hi Abhinav, and thanks for your question. I'll allow you to make this edit yourself, but the term generally used for members of the other team is "opponent", not "enemy player". Despite some matches suggesting otherwise, we are all (supposedly) friends when we come together to play football, regardless of whether we may be on opposing teams. :) – Reinstate Monica 2331977 Dec 13 '18 at 4:39

Punching a player would most likely result in a red card, which would be harmful to the "enemies" as much as a free kick. See Foul After a Goal (possible duplicate).


With two very specific exceptions (cf. Law 14 and Law 15), a free kick (or penalty kick) cannot be awarded for an offence committed with the ball out of play. Therefore, despite any misbehaviour by either team after a goal is scored, the correct restart is always a kick-off.

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct, Introduction:

Direct and indirect free kicks and penalty kicks can only be awarded for offences committed when the ball is in play.

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct, Section 4 - Restart of Play After Fouls and Misconduct:

  • If the ball is out of play, play is restarted according to the previous decision

However, this does not prevent a referee from taking disciplinary action.

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct, Section 3 - Disciplinary Action:

Cautionable Offences

A player is cautioned if guilty of:


  • unsporting behaviour


Cautions for Unsporting Behaviour

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour including if a player:


  • commits in a reckless manner a direct free kick offence


  • shows a lack of respect for the game


Celebration of a Goal


A player must be cautioned for:


  • gesturing or acting in a provocative, derisory or inflammatory way


Sending-off Offences

A player, substitute or substituted player who commits any of the following offences is sent off:


  • biting or spitting at someone
  • violent conduct
  • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

The referee has many grounds on which to sanction players (from either team) for inappropriate behaviour after a goal has been scored. In addition to the above, the referee may also choose to have a quiet word with or publicly warn any players involved, if they felt that this was more appropriate than a formal sanction as listed above.

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