Laws of the Game: Fouls

What is a foul?

Before you can understand what an accumulated foul is, you must understand what a foul is.

Basic requirements for a foul

  1. infraction must be commiteted by a player or by a substitute who has not correectly followed the substitution procedure,
  2. infraction must occur on the pitch,
  3. infraction must occur while the ball is in play

It is important to note that violent conduct when the ball is out of play is not a foul and therefore not an accumulated foul.

What is an accumulated foul?

  • Kicks or attempt to kick an opponent
  • Trips or attmept to trip an opponent
  • Jumps at an opponent
  • Charges an ooponent
  • Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
  • Tackles an opponent
  • Pushes an opponent
  • Spits at an opponent
  • Deliberately handles the ball
  • Holds an opponent

Accumulated fouls

Accumulated fouls are tracked by the referee. This includes fouls where the referee plays advantage. The referee will announce when the 5th accumulated foul is reached.

On the 6th accumulated foul and onwards, a direct free kick is awarded. The defense may not form a wall in this instance.

Accumulated foul count resets every half.

If you have any questions regarding laws of the game please email