Sometimes it happens that a football player loses the shoe during the match.

Does he have to stop playing or he can continue to play assuming the risk of injury?

Also, is it possible to score a goal with no shoe if he loses it just a few moments before?

1 Answer 1


Generally, footwear is a part of the basic compulsory equipment, i.e. no player can play barefoot:

The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:

  • […]
  • footwear

(FIFA Laws of the Game 2015/2016, Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment)

However, that does not mean the player would have to stop playing immediately should he lose a shoe; a player can score a goal even after losing a shoe a few moments before:

If a player loses his footwear accidentally and immediately plays the ball and/or scores a goal, there is no infringement and the goal is awarded because he lost his footwear by accident.

(Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees 2015/2016, Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment)

But he cannot continue playing so, and definitely cannot “assume the risk of injury”. Note that there is an offense of playing “in a dangerous manner” which includes possible injury to the player himself, and which is penalized by an indirect free kick. (But that is purely theoretical, I believe; normally, should the player attempt playing barefoot, the referee would instruct him to correct his equipment.)

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