Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct
Law 12 of FIFA’s Laws of the Game (LOTG) cover the enforcement of the game’s rules by the referee. These rules are designed to keep the game fair and safe. This gives the referee a lot of power to regulate the flow of the game while keeping the players safe, so this is actually a very important responsibility.
For coaches, players, and parents, knowing the Laws of the Game will make you a better teacher, contestant, and spectator.
Law 12 also covers fouls and misconduct for players, coaches, and team officials. These rules are broken down into four enforcement categories:
- Indirect Free Kick
- Direct Free Kick (or Penalty Kick, if the offense occurs in the offender’s own penalty area)
- Yellow Card (may require an indirect or direct free kick)
- Red Card (usually requires a direct free kick or a penalty kick)
If the infraction is particularly serious, cautioning a player or sending a player off (ejecting them from the game) may be warranted. This is what the yellow and red cards are for.
Coaches and Team Officials
Special rules and actions are applied to the coaches and team officials.