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Indirect free kicks inside the 18 yard box

I was thinking and I can’t remember the last time I saw and indirect free kick awarded inside the penalty area at AP, is the rule still in operation? Or have the ref's forgotten the application of this rule as it seems any infringement in the box now just results in a penalty being awarded.


  • The "rule" still stands. It is LAW 12 - Fouls and misconduct. The following are indirect free kick offences that could be awarded to the attacking team.

    Goalkeepers taking more than 6 seconds to release ball from hands; goalkeeper touching ball with hands after releasing it; goalkeeper picking up deliberate back pass/throw in.


    Dangerous play (serious foul play or violent conduct is direct free kick or penalty). Impedes an opponent (obstruction)

    There are a few others, but these result in an indirect free kick to the defending team do would not be a penalty.

    So how often do you see these offences compared to a trip, kick, shirt pull or other direct free kick offence

  • Should be more of 'em. Tired of seeing penalties decide an encounter when there never would have been a goal scoring opportunity out of the situation. Then again, I can't believe the amount of real/ golden opportunities missed by professionals in the game today. Perhaps its always been this way but for the amount of money in the game today I'd expect so see a better conversion rate tbh.

    Generally, penalties are cheap goals; I wonder what percentage are for blocking clear goal scoring opportunities... Not a lot me thinks.

  • That would need a fairly significant change to the rules.

    Something like the foul on Bloomfield against Villa - what would you like given there? Not a goal scoring opportunity, so presumably you wouldn't want a penalty given. So an indirect free kick. But if it had happened a yard further wide it would be a direct free kick. Direct free kick from inside the box maybe?

  • Whilst on the subject of rule changes the law of obstruction now seems to be taken to new extremes. The amount of times I see a player shield the ball from an attacking player to see it out of play is madness. Using your body over the ball is good play but pushing a player 1 or 2 yards away with the ball trickling out just seems like a really obvious foul.

  • cheers @carrickblue that's helped me understand it a bit better. @Chris I was just saying that I cant remember the last time I saw a indirect awarded/if the rule was still in force. Your example of the Bloomfield foul, I'm not to sure really the law 12 says; (thanks again @carrickblue) "plays in a dangerous manner" or "impedes the progress of an opponent" which I see the foul on Bloomfield coming under as I'm not sure the bloke entire meant to clatter blooms in the face, either way I'm glad it was a pen as I got to go to Villa park.

  • The fact that the defender's arm made contact with Bloomfield makes it a foul, I believe. If he had lead with his arm but missed, the referee could have adjudged that as dangerous play and awarded an indirect free kick, although very few, if any, ref's would do so for a raised arm.

    A comparison would be a defending player attempting to clear a chest-height ball in the penalty area with his boot as an attacking player is ducking in to head it. If boot makes contact with head, then foul and penalty; if boot misses head but adjudged dangerous play, indirect free kick.

  • Why would we want to alter the rules about when a pen is given? It's a foul in the box, simple as.
    Make it any more complex than that, and the ref has extra license to ruck things up.
    Not to mention defenders being able to be more bold, knowing they can lunge in and smash someone in areas they wouldn't dare now.

    As for that Bloomfield foul, a ridiculous challenge by the Villa man.

  • It's true I can't remember the last time this happened at AP.
    I think we were given one away at Brighton at the awful Withdean Stadium a few years ago and mucked it up
    Can't think of any others?

  • I don't ever remember them being exactly common although I do remember a few given for steps back in the day. (For those not old enough, before the 6 second rule goalkeepers had to get rid of the ball after 4 (?) steps). This was much easier to ref - often assisted by us pointing it out by counting out loudly when you'd get the odd GK taking the piss.

    They were always good drama though. Loved to see the wall lined up practically on the goal line.

  • For some clarification on what DFKs and IFKs are given for, this website has a decent enough simple explanation:

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