What is a Foul in Football?


In Football, a foul occurs when a player commits a certain offence while the ball is in play. The Laws of the Game list specific offences that constitute a foul. Fouls are punishable by direct free kicks and indirect free kicks. Other types of fouls can lead to indirect free kicks. The Laws of the Game also outline a penalty for a “handling the ball” or “tripping” an opponent.

In this version of the game, an offensive team of 11 players attempts to advance the ovoid ball toward the opponent’s goal post. Both teams attempt to gain points by crossing the goal line. The opponent team, or defence, attempts to block the offensive team from crossing the goal line. Once the ball enters the end zone, the kicker has two choices: to run with the ball and signal a touchback, or to kneel in the end zone and gesture a touchback. If the team with the ball scores more points than the opponent, they take over possession of the ball, and the game continues.

Most countries operate leagues. These leagues normally have several divisions. Teams compete in each division and earn points for each game. Those teams that win the highest points in each division advance to the next division. Those at the bottom of the league fall into a lower division. Some countries have a high-level league, where star players play for high-profile teams. In Europe, the top-level leagues attract most of the world’s best players. After the Bosman ruling, foreign players were allowed to play in these leagues.