Soccer Kick-Off Procedure – Can a goal be scored directly from one?

Accordingly to Law 8 of FIFA’s rules (Start and restart of play) the ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward. The kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

So, nothing against a player kicking the ball directly into the opponent’s team goal and trying to score if he manages to surprise the goalkeeper. In fact, Law 8 states precisely “that a goal may be scored directly from the kick-off“.

Contrary to other situations where the referee must signal a corner kick to the opponent team when the ball is kicked by a player directly (without touching any other player) into its own goal (that are the cases of a corner kick, indirect or direct free kick and a goal kick), in the case of a kick-off that could not happen since there would be a violation of the rule “(…) when it is kicked and moves forward“. If such should happen, the referee must order the kick-off to be repeated and may sanction the player if he insists in doing so again. In the event of any other infringement of the kick-off procedure (such as, unauthorized players entering the centre circle before the ball is kicked) kick-off must also be retaken.

The only situation where the kick-off is not retaken occurs when the player taking the kick-off touches the ball again before it has touched another player. In such case, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team to be taken from the position of the ball when the infringement occurred (Law 13)


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