Laws of the Game

2020/21

2. Indirect free kick

An indirect free kick is awarded if a player:

  • plays in a dangerous manner

  • impedes the progress of an opponent without any contact being made

  • is guilty of dissent, using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures or other verbal offences

  • prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it

  • commits any other offence, not mentioned in the Laws, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player

An indirect free kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area, commits any of the following offences:

  • controls the ball with the hand/arm for more than six seconds before releasing it

  • touches the ball with the hand/arm after releasing it and before it has touched another player

  • touches the ball with the hand/arm, unless the goalkeeper has clearly kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play, after:

    • it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate

    • receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball with the hand(s) when:

  • the ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms, except if the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save

A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hand(s).

Playing in a dangerous manner

Playing in a dangerous manner is any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player themself) and includes preventing a nearby opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.

 

 

Impeding the progress of an opponent without contact

Impeding the progress of an opponent means moving into the opponent’s path to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction when the ball is not within playing distance of either player.

All players have a right to their position on the field of play; being in the way of an opponent is not the same as moving into the way of an opponent.

A player may shield the ball by taking a position between an opponent and the ball if the ball is within playing distance and the opponent is not held off with the arms or body. If the ball is within playing distance, the player may be fairly charged by an opponent.