Points are only awarded to the goalscorer named by the Press Association (PA). Fantasy League will not overrule this source in any circumstances. Fantasy League can only amend goals that are overturned by the PA within 24 hours.
Appearance Points, Clean Sheets & Goals Against
An appearance point (one point) is awarded to any goalkeeper or defender who is on the pitch for at least 45 minutes - excluding injury time (i.e. a half). Goalkeepers and defenders who appear in any part of a game will lose one point per goal conceded while they are on the pitch. Consequently, a player who completes a full 90 minutes and concedes one goal will score no points (0 points). A player who completes thirty minutes of a game and concedes one goal will be deducted one point (-1 point total).
If a player completes 75 minutes or more of a game and no goals are conceded whilst he's on the pitch, then that player will be awarded two extra points for a 'clean sheet' (three points total).
Goalkeepers and defenders receiving red cards will lose points after they are sent off. If a player is sent off and his team concedes goals after his dismissal, he continues to lose the points that his team-mates do. If the goalkeeper/defender is sent off and his team keep a clean sheet then he keeps the points as at the time he was sent off.
Generally, assists are awarded to the team-mate who provided the last 'clean pass' to a goalscorer. A clean pass is defined as a pass, cross or shot that goes directly to the goalscorer without the intervention of another player.
Once there is a measure of interference from another player (be it a team-mate or an opponent) then the assist may be taken away (in the case of defensive intervention), or additional assists added (in the case of a flick-on by a team-mate).
Don't forget that points are doubled in the knockout stages.
What happens if an opposition player gets a touch on the ball?
If the last touch is by an opposing defender (accidental or otherwise) and significantly alters the speed or direction of the ball (excluding a goal-line clearance) then the assist is removed and no assist is credited.
This could result from a dodgy backpass, a defensive deflection, a blocked shot or a poor clearance and if the 'touch' significantly alters the flight of the ball, thus having a considerable effect on the speed or direction of the 'pass'.
A good illustration of this is to look at how and when the goalscorer receives the 'pass'. If the defender's touch means that the player receives the ball in a different area of the pitch, or in a different way (e.g. allowing him to control the ball on his left foot, rather than having to hit it first time with his right), then the 'touch' is deemed to be significant.
For example, a cross along the edge of the six yard box, that deflects off a defender, arriving at the feet of an attacking player on the penalty spot, who then scores, would not be deserving of an assist.
The affect a defender's touch has on the height of the ball is only significant if it dramatically alters the flight (e.g. a ball travelling across the face of goal is headed straight up in the air), but a flick that allows an aerial ball to continue in its original direction would not result in an assist being removed.
But did he mean to do it?
Whether the player intends to interfere with the flight of the ball or not is not the defining factor in awarding assists. The assists are decided on the actual movement of the ball and how it is affected by any touch by attacking or defending players.
Benefit of the doubt
If the Assist panel do not believe that the defensive touch has been significant and has not had a determinable impact under any of the above criteria, then the attacking player will be given 'the benefit of the doubt' and the will be assist awarded.
He's hit the bar!
A player who has a shot which comes off the woodwork and rebounds back to the goalscorer will be deserving of an assist.
If a goalkeeper parries a shot or drops a shot/cross and a goal is then scored then the person making the original shot or cross is awarded an assist. There is no assist given if the goalkeeper intentionally punches or kicks (not including a save with his feet) the ball away, the difference being that he is deemed to be in control of his actions and, no matter how pathetic the attempt, has cleared the ball away.
If a defender makes a goal-line clearance from behind the goalkeeper and it is then turned in, an assist is awarded in the same way that it is awarded for a goalkeeping parry. This only happens with goal-line clearances and when the defender is closer to the goal-line than the goalkeeper. It does not apply to shots blocked in front of the goalkeeper.
When a penalty is awarded, a player fouled earns an assist if the penalty is subsequently converted.
If the penalty is for a handball on a goal-bound shot (which has already passed the goalkeeper and hence results in a sending-off), then the player taking the shot is awarded the assist. No assist is awarded for a handball that is not a goal-line clearance.
If the player earning the assist also scores the resulting penalty then no assist is given.
If a goalkeeper parries a penalty and the penalty taker scores from the rebound then the assist remains as above. If a different player converts the rebound then the penalty taker gets the assist.
There is no assist given to a player earning a direct free kick if a goal arises directly from it.
The 'last pass to goalscorer' rule
If the defensive interference occurs after the goalscorer has already received the ball from a team-mate (after a 'clean' pass) then the assist will stand, as the assist is given for the final pass to the goalscorer. For example, if Xavi feeds the ball to David Villa on the edge of the box and Villa shoots, but his shot hits a defender rebounding straight back to him, then on the second attempt he scores, Xavi will still be awarded an assist, as the goalscorer (in this case Villa) had already received the ball before the deflection occurred.
What happens if a team-mate gets a slight touch on the ball (flick-ons and double assists)?
If the last touch before the goalscorer receives the ball is from his own team mate but does not significantly alter the speed or direction of the ball then two (or more - in the event of a flick-on of a flick-on) separate assists are given. One to the person providing the ball and one to the attacker providing the flick on. These typically occur as a result of near post corners, long throw-ins and goal-kicks.
Again the determining factor in whether two or more assists are awarded is whether or not the additional touch (the flick-on) has a significant impact on the flight of the ball.
Thus a flat corner driven in at head height towards the near post, flicked on to the back post by an attacking player, where it is nodded over the line, would attract two assists. However, an inswinging corner to the near post, headed outwards to the edge of the six-yard-box, from where it is turned home, would result an assist only being awarded to the attacking player making the second touch- as the headed intervention changes the horizontal direction of the ball by a significant amount.
Deciding on assists
Assists are awarded by virtue of a decision from the highly experienced Fantasy League Assists Committee. The decisions of the panel are in line with the framework laid out above in order to maintain consistent adjudication. However, if you still have a query about an assist please send us an email using the Contact Us page. Decisions made by Fantasy League are final.