Questions tagged [football]

Questions about the sport of football, also known as soccer, futbol, association football, etc. Not to be confused with "American football" which is contained under the [american-football] tag.

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75 votes
8 answers
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Why is FIFA against adding instant replay to the game?

Is there any evidence or reason why FIFA is so against adding instant replay to soccer? I find myself seeing many unlucky or just plain wrong decisions made by refs that could be corrected with ...
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  • 1,399
55 votes
7 answers
10k views

How is offside determined in football?

The offside rule on the pitch is often unclear and called suddenly. How do I know if a player is offside?
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  • 9,106
41 votes
4 answers
12k views

Can a football team force its defeat, e.g. via own goals?

On Thursday at 2pm GMT, the football matches for group H of the World Cup 2018 will begin. By 4 pm GMT, the fate of that group will be decided. Let us assume that Japan comes first and Colombia ...
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38 votes
6 answers
6k views

What factors give a "Home Advantage" and how big is it?

Often you hear about the team whose ground the match is being played at having a "home advantage". During a discussion with a friend they said teams go as far as to style the opposing teams changing ...
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32 votes
3 answers
77k views

Why do players enter with children on the ground?

I have seen many soccer matches. I often see that players enter the field with children. Why do they enter with the children?
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  • 1,116
31 votes
10 answers
19k views

Why are substitutions commonly made right at the end of the game?

I often see the manager of a winning team making substitutions as the end of the game nears (sometimes as late as during injury time). The player being replaced is not injured, and doesn't time get ...
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  • 2,869
31 votes
3 answers
16k views

Can referees change their decision?

Let's imagine an ideal situation: A player scores a goal Before scoring, they deliberately handle the ball None of the referees notice the foul The referee validates the goal The scorer admits (...
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  • 481
30 votes
8 answers
15k views

Do they ever pull the goalkeeper in football?

In ice hockey, teams that are losing will sometimes pull their goalkeeper late in the game and bring in an extra attacker to increase their chances of scoring and tying the game. Do teams ever pull ...
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  • 4,851
29 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why is the referee treated so different in soccer and rugby

Recently, in Dutch amateur football, a linesmen died after being attacked by players. This terrible news was directly the reason for the Dutch football association, KNVB, to apply some rules with ...
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  • 1,403
28 votes
6 answers
13k views

Can the opposing team's goalkeeper take a kick in a penalty shootout?

When doing a penalty shootout, is it possible for the opposing team's goalkeeper to take a kick? I've never seen it happen, but it seems that since the goalie is part of the team, he/she should be ...
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  • 627
28 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the on-field role of the captain?

After watching the John Terry "stripped of captaincy" episode in the England national football team, my question is what exactly does the captain do on the field? The team tactics are decided by the ...
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  • 710
25 votes
4 answers
59k views

How is 'distance covered' tracked in football (soccer) at the World Cup and during other official competitions?

In most football leagues, and now the World Cup, distance covered is now a commonly-shared statistic. Are there trackers in the boots? Do the players have chips implanted in their brains? How is '...
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  • 795
25 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the biggest comeback recorded in competitive international soccer matches?

On October 16, 2012, Sweden came back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with Germany in a World Cup qualifier. Purely in terms of goals, is this the record for the biggest comeback in a competitive ...
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24 votes
1 answer
10k views

Why is Ivory Coast being referred to as "Côte d'Ivoire" in the 2014 World Cup?

I understand that the country's basic language is French, but you don't see any other countries using non-English names in the World Cup. Japan isn't called "Nihon" or "Nippon", Germany isn't called "...
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23 votes
6 answers
10k views

Most number of extra-time Goals

On 30-Oct-2012, Arsenal defeated Reading with an incredible score of 7-5. A more astonishing fact is that 4 goals were scored in Extra-time. Is this the record for the most number of goals in extra-...
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  • 5,138
23 votes
2 answers
4k views

Worst defeat of a host nation in world cup history

Brazil, host nation of world cup 2014, lost to Germany by 1-7. This seems like a very big defeat in term of goal difference. What is the worst defeat of a host nation in world cup history in terms of ...
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  • 6,532
23 votes
1 answer
105k views

What is the maximum number of red cards that a referee can give in a football match?

What is the greatest possible number of red cards that a referee can give in a football match? Does such a limit even exist? If so, does it vary from league to league and tournament to tournament?
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  • 590
23 votes
1 answer
3k views

What actions are taken by FIFA/UEFA against what's known as filming or diving

It seems to me that modern football is suffering from the kind of unsportsmanly behavior of diving which became all the more common, perhaps with the recent success of southern European teams/nations. ...
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  • 7,243
22 votes
4 answers
53k views

Which offences result in indirect free kicks?

If a player commits a direct free kick offence in their own penalty area, this results in a penalty kick instead of a direct free kick. However, if the offence is an indirect free kick offence, it ...
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  • 589
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it possible to shoot from a corner so that the ball directly goes into the goal without being hit by other players?

Is it possible that one shoots from a corner and the ball directly goes into the goal without being hit by other players? Has this situation occurred in an actual game (I mean not in training)?
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  • 627
22 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the stuff referees spray on the ground in Football matches?

During the World Cup, the referees sprayed something on the ground. It looked like it was white paint, but it was foamy. It was right before a free-kick on goal. What was the stuff they sprayed on ...
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  • 441
22 votes
2 answers
13k views

In football, what rules handle a player changing their position with the goalkeeper?

In football it is my assumption that any players on the same team can exchange their positions without waiting for the ball to leave play or without making any explicit indication to the other team. ...
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  • 763
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can the second-to-last defender cause an offside by leaving the field of play?

I had a little conversation one of my football friends and we had this interesting situation come up during the conversation. As I understand the offside rule, the offending player should not be ...
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  • 479
22 votes
2 answers
105k views

Why do Olympic soccer teams need to be U-23?

Why do Olympic soccer teams need to be under the age of 23? Are there any exceptions about age restriction? Are there any differences between men and women?
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  • 7,633
21 votes
3 answers
254k views

What is the sports bra looking thing soccer players wear?

I've seen many male soccer players - specially famous players who play for well-known teams - wear a piece of clothing that looks like a sports bra. They're usually worn during practice, and a few ...
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  • 10.4k
21 votes
5 answers
9k views

What happens if a suspended player is used in match and the referee didn't notice

If a player gets a 2 match suspension and the referee fails to observe that this is the case until half time and his team uses him during the suspension period what penalty do the rules allow for in ...
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20 votes
4 answers
41k views

Why was offside introduced, and are there reasons for keeping it?

The offside rule in football ( How is offside determined in soccer?) is the source of a large amount of goal-related controvesy, and is argued by some to diminish the entertainment value of the game. ...
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20 votes
3 answers
40k views

What percent of corner kicks turn into goals?

I have looked around for this statistic without luck. I just wondered what percentage of corner kicks actually result in a goal? Not necessarily straight in, but from the same passage of play. I have ...
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19 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why did the Netherlands put in their backup keeper for the PKs?

In the Netherlands v. Costa Rica World Cup game played on 5 July 2014, the Dutch substituted their keeper at 120+1', clearly solely for the inevitable penalty kick shootout. I'd expect the starting ...
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  • 1,058
19 votes
3 answers
70k views

FIFA World Cup 2014 Tie Breaker Rules: "Between the teams concerned"?

Here is the rule for the ranking of the teams in the Group Stage of the World Cup, from Article 41 of the Regulations, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (PDF): The ranking of each team in each group shall ...
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  • 191
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Rules around shepherding in football

In many ball sports played in Australia there is a familiar term "shepherding". Wikipedia describes it as this: "Shepherding is the act of legally pushing, bumping or blocking an opposing player ...
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  • 763
18 votes
15 answers
34k views

Is the sweeper role obsolete with modern formations?

There has been mention of a role in defense of football called "Sweeper". Wikipedia gives the following explanation. The sweeper or libero (Italian: free) is a more versatile type of Centre back ...
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  • 949
18 votes
4 answers
12k views

Why did Greece go through over Russia in Euro 2012?

Given that both Greece and Russia were tied on 4 points, with Russia having +2 goal difference and Greece having +0, why did Greece finish higher than Russia (and thus progress to the knock-out stages)...
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  • 2,869
18 votes
3 answers
13k views

Can a player receive two yellow cards if advantage is played?

If a football player A fouls player B in a manner such that they will receive a yellow card, but the referee plays the advantage rule, and subsequently player A fouls another player, can the referee ...
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  • 391
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Has 4-6-0 ever worked in high level football?

Seeing that Del Bosque is insisting on playing without a real striker in the Euro games, I came to wonder whether the 4-6-0 tactic he's trying to implement really ever worked for a team at this level. ...
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  • 7,243
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Has there ever been a football player who held the title of "most goals in one season in history" in two different countries?

One of my favourite football players, Eran Zahavi, broke the record for most goals in one season in Israel two years ago. He's currently well on his way to break the same record in China - the most ...
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16 votes
5 answers
16k views

What is the most red cards issued by the referee in one game of soccer/football?

What is the most red cards a referee has ever issued in one game of European football? Europe Only "Top flight" leagues (e.g. Premier League, Serie A, La Liga BBVA, Eredivisie, German Bundesliga, ...
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  • 2,280
16 votes
3 answers
81k views

Qualification decision in group stages when everything is equal

Consider a football (soccer) tournament has a group stage, where for example teams are divided into groups of four and the first and second teams will qualify to the next round. If all games end with ...
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  • 627
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does Messi's 50th goal count as a record?

Last night, Messi scored his 50th goal of the season. Why is it considered a new goal-scoring record? Dixie Dean scored 60 goals for Everton in the FA First Division alone (he had 67 in total) in ...
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16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Theoretically, what is the maximum number of times any two English Premier League teams can play each other in a single season?

Assuming that the two teams are eligible for every available competition, and including every scenario (such as cup replays, etc.), what would be the maximum number of times that two teams from the ...
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  • 447
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

How does FIFA rank national teams?

Which stats are taken into account when ranking a team? How are the points distributed? I've been wondering recently about how strange it is that the present ranking puts Columbia at the 3rd position ...
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16 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do players get yellow cards when they remove their jersey during celebrations?

If a player receives a first caution (yellow card) during the game and the same player scores a goal and removes his jersey will he be dismissed from the field of play and shown a red card?
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  • 263
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is hiding the ball allowed in football?

Imagine all our football team except one player form a tight circle, with our hands on the shoulders of the people next to us. Inside the circle there is the eleventh person with the ball. The whole "...
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15 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why did Manuel Neuer leave the goal post and come to the midfield position in group qualifiers?

In the do or die match between Germany and South Korea in 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage, after conceding one goal, the German goalkeeper came forward to attack, leaving the goal post empty. Due to ...
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  • 361
15 votes
5 answers
9k views

How do defenders score goals when part of a formation

When playing in a 4-5-1 or 4-4-3 formation you are meant to stay in your zone on the pitch. The defenders need to be part of the back 4 and not move into the forward postions. How then do defenders ...
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  • 710
15 votes
1 answer
23k views

Are players allowed to pass a penalty kick?

I saw a video of Johann Cruyff passing a penalty kick, isn't that against the rules?
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  • 419
15 votes
3 answers
14k views

What is the role of a "false 9"?

Recently I read a few articles about strikers playing as a "false 9". My understanding of a "false 9", is that he is a striker whose purpose is to pull defenders out of position so that his teammates ...
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  • 1,208
15 votes
2 answers
31k views

Does the penalty shoot out goal count as the person goal for a player?

I just want to know if the goal scored by a player during shoot out is counted as goal scored in the tournament or not. For example: the goal scored by Messi will be counted or not to become the ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Squeezing the ball between two feet and hopping across the field

On occasion you see sometimes players try this tactic where they squeeze the ball between two feet and hop across the goal line in an attempt to score. This is usually kids learning the game or adults ...
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  • 763
15 votes
2 answers
5k views

What language do Belgian football players use to communicate between themselves?

Belgium is a country with three official languages (Dutch, French and German), all of which are used in practice by significant portions of the population, largely divided by geography. Of course, ...
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