At a soccer game last night I was playing goalie. The ball was bouncing around in front of the net, and I was trying to grab it with my hand while the opponent was trying to kick it into the net. Just as I was reaching for the ball -- which was two feet off the ground -- the player kicks at the ball, but hits my hand first. The force of the kick pushes my hand into the ball, knocking the ball into my own goal. It was ruled a goal. My question is: should this have been a foul on the attacker for kicking my hand? Or is not a foul, since I did not have possession and the attacker was trying to make a play directly on the ball?

2 Answers 2


Kicking the hand of the goalie definitely is a foul.

  • No goal
  • Direct free kick for your team

Just like with most other challenges hitting an opponent while going for the ball is a foul, regardless of where the attacker hits the opponent. Hitting the ball first would be required in order to count the goal in your situation. And even then it might still be a foul, if the contact is considered careless, reckless, etc.

Law 12 covers this situation:

A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:


  • kicks or attempts to kick

  • strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt)


If an offence involves contact, it is penalised by a direct free kick.


If he hits your hand before he hits the ball, then it's definitely a foul. Just the same as it is when any player makes a tackle and instead of kicking the ball kicks his opponent's leg.

Check FIFA's laws of the game:


Offences committed against goalkeepers

• It is an offence for a player to prevent a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands

• A player must be penalised for playing in a dangerous manner if he kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it

• It is an offence to restrict the movement of the goalkeeper by unfairly impeding him, e.g. at the taking of a corner kick

  • 4
    The LOTG have been managed by IFAB since 2018 and, even if the text implicitly quoted was in LOTG (to be clear, it is not in there!) it would not justify a free kick since the goalkeeper is not attempting to release the ball nor is being kicked considered impeding.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 4:22
  • 1
    The goalie can't release a ball they haven't touched yet, so the quote is for a different situation. Also the quoted law seems to be outdated. Here is the current one where the quote was taken from.
    – dly
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 15:20

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