Foul (association Football)

Foul (association Football)

A foul in association football is an unfair act by a player which is deemed by the referee to contravene Law 12 of the Laws of the Game. For an act to be a foul it must:

  • be a specific offence listed in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game (other infractions, for example technical infractions at restarts, are not deemed to be fouls);
  • be committed by a player (not a substitute);
  • be committed against an opponent, when applicable (a player striking the referee or a teammate, for example, is not a foul, but a misconduct);
  • occur while the ball is in play.

As can be seen from the above not all infractions of the Laws are fouls, rather they may constitute — and be punished as — technical infractions and/or misconduct. Misconduct in association football is any conduct by a player that is deemed by the referee to warrant a disciplinary sanction (caution or dismissal) in accordance with Law 12 of the Laws of the Game. Misconduct may occur at any time, including when the ball is out of play, during half-time and before and after the game, and both players and substitutes may be sanctioned for misconduct. This is unlike a foul, which may only be committed by a player, and only against an opponent when the ball is in play.

Misconduct may result in the player either receiving a caution (indicated by a yellow card) or being dismissed from the field (indicated by a red card). When a player is cautioned, the player's details are traditionally recorded by the referee in a small notebook; hence, a caution is also known as a booking. The referee has considerable discretion in applying the Laws; in particular, the offence of "unsporting behaviour" may be used to deal with most events that violate the spirit of the game, even if they are not listed as specific offences.

The system of cautioning and dismissal has existed for many decades, but the idea of language-neutral coloured cards originated with British referee Ken Aston, who got the idea while sitting in his car at a traffic light. The first major use of the cards was in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, but they were not made mandatory at all levels until 1982.

Read more about Foul (association Football):  Direct Free Kick Offences, Indirect Free Kick Offences, Advantage, Other Offences, Cautionable Offences (yellow Card), Sending-off Offences (red Card), Discretion, Restarts, Team Officials

Famous quotes containing the word foul:

    I will through and through
    Cleanse the foul body of th’ infected world,
    If they will patiently receive my medicine.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)