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10 football rules you didn't know existed

Real Sociedad de Futbol v Elche FC - La Liga
Real Sociedad de Futbol v Elche FC - La Liga
Siddhinathan
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 14:24 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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In this article, we are going to see football rules that even the most ardent fans don’t know about. These are not something that you usually see in regular games. No matter how knowledgeable you are about football, there are always a bunch of unusual, obscure rules that you haven’t come across. 

So, unless you are a football referee you can be forgiven if you haven’t heard about some or all of these rules. Here are 10 such rules that you probably haven't heard of.


#10 No offside rule during corner kicks, throw ins and goal kicks

There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:

  • a goal kick
  • a throw-in
  • a corner kick

First one is a pretty straight-forward one and needs no lengthy explanation. But, the new rules state that opponent players cannot be present inside the penalty box during a goal kick, and this can be used by the attacking team to beat the opponent press and gain an advantage. It is explained in one of my previous articles here.


#9 Minimum 7 players for a team on the pitch

There must be a minimum of seven players in a team on the pitch for a match to start or continue. This means a maximum of four red cards can be given to on-field players of a team in a single match. A fifth one would stop the match, as one team wouldn’t have the required number of players on the pitch for the match to proceed.

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#8 Equal number of players during a penalty shoot-out

Zidane head-butting Materazzi
Zidane head-butting Materazzi

During penalty shoot-outs, an equal number of players must be available in both teams to take the penalties. That is if a match between Team A vs Team B ends in a draw and moves to penalties, and a player from Team A got sent off already during the match, then only 10 players from Team B can be available for the shoot-out.

This happened at one of the biggest matches in world football: 2006 FIFA World Cup Final. That’s right. That match is infamous for one thing, Zinedine Zidane head-butting Italy’s Marco Materazzi

For the uninitiated, Materazzi, the Italian central defender (who would go on to become the player-manager of Chennaiyin FC) abused Zidane which got him a head-butt right in the center of his chest. Obviously, Zidane got sent off and the match entered the penalty shoot-out stage.

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As France had only ten players, Italy had to exclude one of their own from the shoot-out and Gennaro Gattuso, who finished the entire 120 minutes, was the one to sit out.


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Published 05 Jan 2021, 14:24 IST
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