The rules of soccer - Fouls and MisConduct

A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

  • kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
  • trips or attempts to trip an opponent
  • jumps at an opponent
  • charges an opponent
  • strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • pushes an opponent
  • tackles an opponent

A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offences:

  • holds an opponent
  • spits at an opponent
  • handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

A direct free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred (see Law 13 - Position of free kick).

The Rules of soccer / Rules of football - Penalty kick

A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above ten offences is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.

The Rules of soccer / Rules of football - Indirect free kick

An indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area, commits any of the following four offences:

  • controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession
  • touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player
  • touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate
  • touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if, in the opinion of the referee, a player:

  • plays in a dangerous manner
  • impedes the progress of an opponent
  • prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
  • commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

The indirect free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred (see Law 13 - Position of free kick).

The Rules of soccer / Rules of football - Disciplinary sanctions

The yellow card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been cautioned.

The red card is used to communicate that a player, substitute or substituted player has been sent off.

Only a player, substitute or substituted player may be shown the red or yellow card.

The referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle.

A player who commits a cautionable or sending-off offence, either on or off the field of play, whether directed towards an opponent, a team-mate, the referee, an assistant referee or any other person, is disciplined according to the nature of the offence committed.

The Rules of soccer / Rules of football - Cautionable offences

A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences:

  • unsporting behaviour
  • dissent by word or action
  • persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
  • delaying the restart of play
  • failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in
  • entering or re-entering the fi eld of play without the referee's permission
  • deliberately leaving the fi eld of play without the referee's permission

A substitute or substituted player is cautioned if he commits any of the following three offences:

  • unsporting behavior
  • dissent by word or action
  • delaying the restart of play

The Rules of soccer / Rules of football - Sending-off offences

A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:

  • serious foul play
  • violent conduct
  • spitting at an opponent or any other person
  • denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
  • denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
  • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures receiving a second caution in the same match

A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.

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