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GOALKEEPERS HAVE ALWAYS been considered "different" in soccer. They dress a little different, are allowed to use their hands, and perform all kinds of derring-do in defending their goal.
The goalkeeper holds the collective defensive action together; he is the field general. When a midfielder allows a dribbler to get by him, it can cause trouble. When a goalkeeper allows a shot to get by him, it is a disaster.
The goalkeeper has always had a difficult role, but the new FIFA law (back-pass rule) has dramatically altered it.
Law XII, Fouls and Misconduct has sparked a lot of concern among coaches, players, officials, and fans, and the authors of this article.
Law XII holds that whenever a player deliberately kicks the ball to his own goalkeeper, the keeper cannot touch it with his hands. Penalty for an infraction: an indirect free kick from the spot of the infringement, subject to the overriding conditions of Law XIII.
The back-pass rule seeks to eliminate the time-wasting back-pass tactic previously used by everyone; and, by making it harder to simply pass the ball back to the keeper whenever you're in danger of losing it, …