Laws of the Game

2020/21

4. Restart of play after fouls and misconduct

If the ball is out of play, play is restarted according to the previous decision. If the ball is in play and a player commits a physical offence inside the field of play against:

  • an opponent – an indirect or direct free kick or penalty kick

  • a team-mate, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, team official or a match official – a direct free kick or penalty kick

  • any other person – a dropped ball

All verbal offences are penalised with an indirect free kick.

If, when the ball is in play:

  • a player commits an offence against a match official or an opposing player, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or team official outside the field of play or

  • a substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or team official commits an offence against, or interferes with, an opposing player or match official outside the field of play,

play is restarted with a free kick on the boundary line nearest to where the offence/interference occurred; for direct free kick offences, a penalty kick is awarded if this is within the offender’s penalty area.

If an offence is committed outside the field of play by a player against a player, substitute, substituted player or team official of their own team, play is restarted with an indirect free kick on the boundary line closest to where the offence occurred.

If a player makes contact with the ball with an object (boot, shinguard etc.) held in the hand, play is restarted with a direct free kick (or penalty kick).

If a player who is on or off the field of play throws or kicks an object (other than the match ball) at an opposing player, or throws or kicks an object (including a ball) at an opposing substitute, substituted or sent-off player, team official, or a match official or the match ball, play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the object struck or would have struck the person or the ball. If this position is off the field of play, the free kick is taken on the nearest point on the boundary line; a penalty kick is awarded if this is within the offender’s penalty area.

If a substitute, substituted or sent-off player, player temporarily off the field of play or team official throws or kicks an object onto the field of play and it interferes with play, an opponent or match official, play is restarted with a direct free kick (or penalty kick) where the object interfered with play or struck or would have struck the opponent, match official or the ball.