Football is undoubtedly the most popular and most famous game in the world. Like all other games, football is governed by a set of rules that are usually enforced by the referees during the match. Major football rules being deployed are structured by FIFA, which is the international federation that deals with matters of football.
However, there are some FIFA rules that most football fans and players do not know and most referees ignore. In this article, we’ll look at ten rules that you may not be aware of their existence as well as the ones most referees ignore.
- Send-off Before Kick-off
Did you know that a player can be sent off by the referee even before the match kicks off? Now you know. Football requires a high level sportsmanship both on and off the pitch. This incident occurred in 2017 in a match featuring Vitoria Guimaraes and Marseille. The subject was the former Manchester United defende, Patrice Evra who was seen kicking a fan. French football journalist Julien Laurens said Evra – who regularly posts light-hearted videos on social media – was insulted and also told: “Keep doing your videos, but stop playing football.” Patrice Evra had been named on the bench for that match. That maent that Marseille was still capable of starting the match with 11 players.
- 7 Players Rule
In cases where players are not up to the required number for a match, that is 11 for one reason or another, it is allowed that such team can start the game with a minimum of seven players. similarly, if a team concedes four red cards, the game can still go on since the number is still seven. But however, if a fifth red card is issued, the match stops immediately. This red card situation does not apply to players on the bench.
- Defensive Wall
This rule has been abused severally and it is still being abused now by players and referees. During free kick situations, no attacking player is allowed in the defensive wall or near the defensive wall. It was argued that attackers standing close to or in the defensive walls at a free kick often cause management problems or waste a lot of time. There is no legitimate tactical justification for attackers to be in the wall and their presence is against the spirit of the game and often damage the image of the game.
- Own Goal From Set-pieces
In a football match, you can’t score an own goal from set pieces. If a player scores an own goal from set pieces such as goal kick, free kick, corner kick and penalty kick, instead of goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opponents. But how on earth can someone score an own goal from a penalty kick? Don’t mention Maguire! Very funny.
- Coin Toss
You usually see the coin toss by the referee before the start of the match. Initially, the captain who won the coin toss could only choose the goal to attack but currently, they are allowed to even choose whether to start the kick off or not.
- Goalkeepers and Penalty
In penalty situations, goalkeepers must not be touching the posts, crossbar or nets in an attempt to scare the penalty taker. They must not move before the ball is kicked. This is usually not followed.
- Six Seconds rule
When the ball is in play and the goalkeeper is holding the ball, he is required to hold the ball for a maximum of six seconds before releasing it to the outfield players. If a goalkeeper does that, an indirect free kick is awarded in the penallty area. The scenario was witnessed in a game Liverpool played against Bordeaux when Simon Mignolet held the ball for 22 seconds, that is almost for times the six seconds rule. Liverpool conceded a goal from that mistake.
- Flat Ball
If a player scores and the ball goes flat on its way to the goal, the goal doesn’t count. This is because the standard requirement is that the ball must be inflated fully.
- Illegal Celebrations Yellow Cards
Yellow cards awarded for illegal celebrations stands even if the goal is later disallowed. This is because the impact is the same as if the goal was awarded.
- Penalty Shootouts
The amount of players allowed to tak penalty kicks during penalty shootouts must be equal for both teams. This implies that if a player receives a red card in team A, team B has to take out one player from the shootout. This case was experienced in the 2006 world cup final when Zidane was sent off. Italy had to exclude one of their players from the shootout as well. Gattuso was the sacrificial lamb.