Is the ball considered to be in play or out of play when the goalkeeper has possession? What should be the restart if the goalkeeper commits a foul/misconduct when he has the ball in his hands?

1 Answer 1


The goalkeeper having the ball is just like any other player having it. The ball is in play.

The Laws clearly state when the ball is out of play:

The ball is out of play when:

  • it has wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air

  • play has been stopped by the referee

  • it touches a match official, remains on the field of play and:

    • a team starts a promising attack or

    • the ball goes directly into the goal or

    • the team in possession of the ball changes


The ball is in play at all other times when it touches a match official and when it rebounds off a goalpost, crossbar or corner flagpost and remains on the field of play.

If the goalkeeper commits a foul while holding the ball it's treated like any other foul. Depending on the offence it would likely result in a penalty or indirect freekick.

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