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?

2 Answers 2


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.


In 2014 Legia Warszawa played Celtic Glasgow in UCL qualifiers.

Legia won the home game 4-1, played the away game also winning (2-0). However one of their players, (Bartosz Bereszynski) was not officially included in the match day squad, yet still appeared on the pitch. UEFA disqualified Legia for that particular game, so Celtic automatically won this game by 3-0.

Thus, Celtic advanced to the Champions League play-off on a 4-4 aggregate thanks to the away goals they "scored" in Warsaw or maybe Celtic would advance even if Legia won 10-0 in the first game. Here you can see the oficial UEFA match report.


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