page title icon What are the Major Fouls in Soccer?

For a soccer player of any stage, it is important to be familiar with all the rules relating to fouls in soccer. Knowing this will eventually help you cut down on the chances of going wrong during a match. If you wish to learn about the fouls in Soccer, you are surely on the right post and we will guide you with every single detail about fouls in Soccer.

What is considered a foul in soccer is the ultimate question that every soccer player should have a detailed answer. In the case of giving out foul play, you need to face a difficult penalty and your opponent would enjoy benefits out of your mistakes. Soccer fouls list can be classified into two main types:

Direct Kick Fouls:

  1. Kicking
  2. Tripping
  3. Charging
  4. Hitting
  5. Pushing
  6. Jumping recklessly
  7. Holding
  8. Body Contact with the opponent
  9. Spitting
  10. Handling the ball

Indirect Kick Fouls:

  • Apply to All Players

      1. Playing violently
      2. Prevent the opponent’s progress
      3. Stop the goalkeeper from releasing the ball
      4. Offensive language
  • Apply to Goalkeeper

      1. Holding the ball in his hands for over 6 seconds before releasing it
      2. Touching the ball with hands after a teammate purposely kicked the ball to the goalkeeper
      3. Touching the ball with hands after having directly received it on a throw-in from a teammate
      4. Deliberately touching the ball with his hands after one has released it from one possession and before it has touched another player

Rules Relating to Fouls in Soccer

The soccer rules are classified into three types such as major offenses, other offenses, and misconduct. The soccer fouls are determined based on common sense and a player should be cautious about these rules.

If a player has given a prohibited play that comes under rule 12, then it would result in the free-kick according to rule 13. If the same infraction play move comes under the penalty area explained under rule 14, then the player would gain a penalty kick.

Direct Kick Fouls

Direct kick fouls by one team gives Direct Free Kick or a Penalty Kick to the fouled team.

A direct free kick is one in which the fouled team gets a chance to kick the ball straight into the goal while a penalty kick is given to the fouled team if it has been fouled within the penalty box.

  1. If a player tries to kick or if a player kicked an opponent player
  2. In case of giving a trip to an opponent player
  3. Hopping on to the opponent
  4. If a player attacks the opponent player in a violent or dangerous way
  5. In case of attacking the opponent from his back or even attempting to do the same
  6. When you try to strike or strike the opponent player
  7. Holding the opposite player also comes under the major offenses
  8. Pushing the other players
  9. In case of handling or touching the ball with hands
  10. Though the opponent is not attacked, spitting on him is also a major offense

Indirect Kick Fouls

There is an Official handbook by FIFA which consists of rules of soccer and details on infraction, regulations, fouls. The referee indicates the different types of infractions by blowing up the whistle, stopping the play and taking action on the act.

Soccer fouls rules consist of a set of offenses that leads to indirect free kick if a goalkeeper tends to commit any of the below-mentioned offenses within his penalty area:

  1. If you take four steps to control the ball using your hands before releasing the ball from the possession, then it can lead to an indirect free kick.
  2. If the ball is again touched by his hands after releasing from possession without touching other players, it also results in an indirect free kick.
  3. Touching the ball after kicking deliberately towards him by a teammate.
  4. Touching the ball using hands after receiving it directly by the teammate’s act of throwing in.

The following is the list of chances where the opposing team is awarded an indirect free-kick if a player:

  1. Playing in such a way that is prone to possess dangerous acts
  2. Usage of abusive or offensive language or even usage of such gestures
  3. Preventing the goalkeeper to release the ball
  4. Attempting to kick the football when the goalkeeper is attempting to release it

Yellow Card and Red Card

There are two types of soccer foul cards such as yellow cards or red cards. A referee would award a free kick or penalty kick and later takes disciplinary action against the opposite player by bestowing him a yellow card or red card.

In case of indicating caution, the referee would issue the yellow card. In case of indicating a serious offense, the referee would issue a red card which means the player would be expelled from the present match.

There are a set of offenses that would result in taking up a yellow card which is given below,

Image result for fouls in soccer yellow card"

  1. In the case of behaving in an unsporting way
  2. Showing objection or disagreement using action or words
  3. Violating or breaching the rules of the soccer game
  4. Loitering the restarting match and extending the time
  5. When the match is restarted after completion of a free kick or corner kick, then failing to play in the required distance would lead to gain the yellow card
  6. Failing to take the referee’s permission to leave the match field or leaving deliberately
  7. If you commit any other offenses in the play which are not mentioned in the above list, then it could lead to the dismissal or a warning to the player

There are a set of offenses that would result in taking up a red card which is given below,

Image result for fouls in soccer red card"

  1. In case of serious foul play
  2. Behaving violently or rude with the opponent players
  3. Spitting on the opponent players or any other person in the ground
  4. The act of denying the opponent’s goal or an obvious goal-scoring chance by handling the ball deliberately (this rule is inapplicable for the goalkeeper within his penalty area)
  5. Offensively denying the obvious goal-scoring chance of an opponent moving towards the player’s goal would lead towards the free kick or penalty kick
  6. Usage of insulting, abusive or offensive language against the opponent or any other person during the match time
  7. While receiving the second caution or warning in the same match

What is meant by advantage clause?

As per the Advantage Clause, the referee, out of his responsibility, might choose not to call a foul even though it is pretty much obvious if the referee thinks calling a foul and stopping the match at that point would cause more harm than good to the team that was fouled.

How many fouls can you get in soccer?

A player can get 3 types of fouls in soccer; the basic foul, yellow card and red card. However, the type of a foul is determined by its severity.

What is serious foul play in soccer?

The foul charged for exerting excessive force or deliberately attempting to injure the opponent player comes under the serious foul play.

Is pushing a foul in soccer?

Yes, pushing is a major foul in soccer and pushing is only declared as a foul when it appears to be violent. However, ‘fair charging’ between two players while contesting for the ball is always allowed.

What is a tactical foul in soccer?

Tactical fouls in soccer are actions with a deliberate attempt to hamper the playing of the opponent team by wasting time and these actions are indirectly related to winning the game. One of the most common tactical fouls is taking more time than usual while preparing for a free-kick, or deliberately doing a foul to stop the play and waste time.

Is stiff-arm legal in soccer?

Even though players are not meant to extend their arms to block their opponent, it is still legal as long as it doesn’t turn violent.

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John is the leading Product Review Specialist at 99sportz. He breathes Soccer, Baseball & Tennis and speaks fluently on all aspects of these sports. With his in-depth understanding of the sports, he curates product reviews & buying guides related to his idols sports. Know more about John Brown on 99Sportz About page.