Professional foul

A cynical offense in which a player deliberately tackles or stops an opponent who is advancing on goal. A player can be given a caution for committing a foul on an opponent that prevents a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and a free kick or penalty kick is awarded to the attacking team.

This foul can also be known as a ‘tactical foul’ as the defending team can gain an advantage by breaking up a dangerous attack, therefore, being able to organize the defense before the set-piece is taken.

What is the punishment for a professional foul?

A professional foul in soccer almost always results in the offending player receiving a caution. The common punishment is a yellow card and this is given when a player purposely prevents a promising attack from starting or deliberately fouls an opponent during an attack but not near the goal area or preventing a clear goal. These fouls are usually deemed to be reckless and not dangerous.

However, a red card can be awarded for more serious and obvious fouls. If a player fouls an opponent and stops a clear goal-scoring opportunity then a red card is given as an advantage was taken in an unsportsmanlike manner.

A common example of this punishment can be known as ‘last man’, this is when the attacking player is through on goal and is fouled by either the last defender or the goalkeeper.

If a player uses excessive force when tackling a player, resulting in injury or a serious injury then a red card can be given for dangerous play.