Direct free kick

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A direct free kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football following a foul. Unlike an indirect free kick, a goal may be scored directly against the opposing side without the ball having first touched another player.


A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team when a player commits a penalty foul, for example, pushing or tripping an opponent. However, if the offence was committed by the defending team within their own penalty area, the kick becomes a penalty kick.


The kick is taken from where the foul occurred, unless that was within the fouled team's goal area, in which case it may be taken from anywhere within the goal area. The ball must be stationary prior to being kicked. Opponents must remain 9.15 metres (10 yards) from the ball (and also outside of the penalty area if the kick is taken from within the defending team's penalty area) until the ball is in play. Observed the distance, the opposite players may choose to form a "wall" between the ball and the goal.

In order to keep the initiative a quick free kick is sometimes taken without waiting for the opposing players to retire from the 9.15 m (10 yard) radius.

The ball becomes in play as soon as it is kicked and moves, unless the kick was taken from within the kicking team's penalty area, in which case it is in play once it has passed directly beyond the penalty area.

A goal may be scored directly from a direct free kick, but only...
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