Direct free kick

A direct free kick is a set piece that allows a player to kick the ball directly at goal. This free-kick is taken from a stationary position with no pressure from the opposition players. These are given regularly in a game as the offenses committed are very common throughout a full match. This is different from the indirect free kick.

When is a Direct free kick given?

A referee will award a direct free kick when a player tackles an opponent in an uncontrolled manner or by using excessive force to foul a player. Examples of this can be when a player tries to kick, push or hit a player to win back possession of the ball. A more serious offense such as deliberate handball will result in a direct free kick being awarded; this also includes the goalkeeper when outside the penalty area. If the foul is committed inside the penalty area then a penalty kick will be awarded.

Most direct free-kicks can be deemed part of the match and no caution will be given. However, if the referee deems it to be a serious offense then this could lead to a player receiving a yellow or even a red card.

How is a Direct free kick taken?

There are five primary regulations that apply when the referee awards a direct free kick;

  • The kick must be taken from the spot where the foul was committed.
  • You can’t take a kick when the ball is moving around.
  • Opposition players are positioned at least 10 yards away from the ball at all times.
  • The free-kick taker is limited to one touch of the ball until another player takes a touch.
  • The free-kick taker can either shoot directly towards the goal or pass the ball to another player.