After a corner is awarded (when ball is knocked over the goal line), how long is it before the corner is actually delivered, in the top leagues or in internation games?

Is there a maximum amount of time players can use up before taking the corner? What about time for attackers/defenders to get into position?


3 Answers 3


There's no minimum or maximum amount of time to restart the game before a corner kick is assigned. Usually the assistant near the corner will help to insure that the ball is in the corner arc and all opponents are, at least, 10 yards away.

If the player takes an unusually longer time to restart the game, intentionally delaying the game, the referee caution him or give out a yellow card. It is a judgement call by the refs.

  • thanks. I don't watch a lot of football games, but what would you say the time to restart approximately is? 10 seconds? 30 seconds? a minute?
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 1:01
  • 2
    My totally non-scientific estimate would be near 30-40 sec in average. I didn't write in the answer because I don't have any data to corroborate.
    – MFornari
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 1:19

This is a very interesting question, here is my take one it:

It very much depends on the time of the game. At the beginning of the game you tend to see that a team is taking their time and not going at full speed. At this time it could take between 5-30 seconds depending on how far the ball is from the corner, as well as how many players you need to get on top of the box.

However, late in the game you will see teams try to slow the game down and waste time. For instance, if Team A is beating Team B, Team A is going to want to take 20-40 seconds to really milk that time. Team B on the other hand is going to want to take corners between 5-10 seconds to have more playing time.

  • surely if Team B is behind they will want to prepare more for the corner and make sure it converts?
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 23:22
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    @Colin Koenig: have you any statistic to confirm your reply or is based on your experience?
    – Ale
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 6:47
  • Alex, If Team B is behind they will prepare much quicker to preserve time. @Ale As I said in my reply, I greatly generalized. However, watching the last Bayern match, both numbers fit very well into my numbers. Let us say this is a answer from personal experience with a small sample from professional games. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 18:21

Football/Soccer is a sport which is mostly regulated by the Referee. His word, even when wrong is the law. This is important because some referees cancel freekicks and corner kicks that are done IF the referee doesn't blow the whistle.

Typically, the corner takes place in 5 to 30 seconds, if there aren't any players hurt or a substitution. It also depends on whether the referee takes longer to blow the whistle or give any other indication that the player may kick the ball. Usually shorter delay occurs when it's a repeat corner, meaning, when after a corner, the ball goes out of the pitch for yet another corner. The longer delays happen on rare ocasions where Goalkeepers move to the area in order to assist the team like Patrício vs Twente

Note that the Referee may warn or show a yellow card to players who stall when ordered to resume the game.

  • so, it is allowable for offensive teams to waste time arranging their players to take the corner, e.g. if they want to move the goalie up?
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 1:25
  • Not necessarely. While the Referee may tolerate it, if the goalie isn't running, he's gonna be rushing it (unless he's being biased). However, wasting time with non-game things is not uncommon. Often on freekicks the defense takes longer to form a barrier, and the offense to kick the ball (if it suits them). Managers subbing players on the far end of the field when the match only has 2 minutes on the clock isn't uncommon either.
    – Oak
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 1:30
  • I have some problems with this answer. Firstly, players do not need to wait for the whistle (or a signal) on corner kicks or free kicks, unless there is a substitute, injury, card shown, or the team taking the kick has requested that the referee ensure the opponents are 10 yards back. Secondly, corner kicks and free kicks are never cancelled, they are simply retaken if taken when play needs to be delayed for an injury, card, or substitution. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 2:47
  • That is what I meant by cancelled. The play following the kick is cancelled and the kick is to be retaken. And players /don't/ need to wait for the whistle, that is true, but they have to be allowed to take the kick. Sometimes fouls during quickplays are done to stop the attack, but the referee allows the player to pick up the ball and resume the play as fast as possible, in that case, a whistle is not customary. BUT the referee may disallow the freekick to be taken that fast and assert that he needs to whistle BEFORE the kick.
    – Oak
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 3:15
  • Sure, they may disallow a quick restart, but if it's not for one of the reasons listed on p. 83 of the 2015/16 FIFA Laws of the Game (ie. issuing cards, dealing with an injury, allowing a substitution, or enforcing the ten yards), then they're not managing the game correctly. It is very rare that the whistle is required for a corner kick to be taken. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 6:02

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