Ah Ref

VIDEO: Daniel Agger's 'Crosby' goal -- and the FIFA rule which makes it illegal

Unfortunately for the Dane, the rules say you can’t head the ball out of the goalkeeper’s hands.

YouTube Credit: FootballLeagueGoals

QUICK-THINKING DANIEL Agger thought he had doubled Liverpool’s lead against Anzhi Makhachkala last night only to see his goal ruled out — because he headed the ball out of the goalkeeper’s hands.

Liverpool were 1-0 up with 10 minutes to play when the Danish defender snuck up behind Vladimir Gabulov and headed the ball out of the goalkeeper’s outstreched palm before volleying it into the empty net.

It was Agger’s Gary Crosby moment, reminiscent of the Nottingham Forest winger’s famous goal against Manchester City, but this time the referee and the rule book spoiled the party.

Dutch official Bas Nijhuis disallowed the goal, awarding Anzhi a free-out and showing Agger a yellow card. And according to the FIFA laws of the game, the referee was correct.

Law 12 (page 116 here) states:

A goalkeeper is not permitted to keep control of the ball in his hands for more than six seconds. A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball:
  • while the ball is between his hands or between his hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body)
  • while holding the ball in his outstretched open hand
  • while in the act of bouncing it on the ground or tossing it into the air

When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent.

So take a bow, Mr Nijhuis, you were spot on. Although booking Agger for trying to pull a fast one was a little bit over the top, no?

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