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A match forfeit is usually scored as a 3-0 loss to the team forfeiting the game. But, could a team use this to your advantage by forfeiting a game in which they could potentially lose by more?

For eg: in a two-legged encounter, if I manage to win the first leg by more than 3 goals, can I forfeit the second leg and still qualify on aggregate.

I know this is totally against the spirit of football, but is there anything in the rulebook that prevents this?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is what I found on forfeits over two legs; according to fifa.

A team sanctioned with a forfeit is considered to have lost the match by 3-0.

If the goal difference at the end of the match is greater than three, the result on the pitch is upheld.

Never heard of a team actually doing this though. Would be interesting to see what Fifa would do if a team won 4-0 and decided to forfeit the 2nd leg so they could go through. I guess in most cases the money lost by not playing the game is a deterrent.


I've found more info from Uefa where if a team refuses to play a match then they forfeit that game and face elimination from the competition. I think this relates more to your question.

If a club refuses to play or is responsible for a match not taking place or not being played in full, the Control and Disciplinary Body declares the match forfeited and/or disqualifies the club concerned in combination with the following fines

The fines range up to 1 million euro for doing so before the final.

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Could you explain where you got the 7 goals part from? I wasn't able to find it in the rulebook PDF – Yaitzme Feb 5 '14 at 10:13
Also, I seem to have asked two distinct questions above.(whether a forfeit is always 3-0 & whether one can forfeit the second leg and still win). . . .StackExchangers, should I edit the above question or start out a new one ? – Yaitzme Feb 5 '14 at 10:16
Sorry don't know what I was thinking there, I'll change that! – RoB Feb 5 '14 at 10:18
I've added an edit with a source from Uefa, this answers what would happen in the case of your question. – RoB Feb 5 '14 at 10:26
@Yaitzme edit to ask one, then start a new one for the other. that is, unless you feel they should be grouped together – ᴍᴀsᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴅ_ᴇᴅ Feb 5 '14 at 17:55

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