What Is The Difference Between Penalty And Free Kick In Football (Soccer)?

In soccer, a free kick is awarded to restart the game after it has been paused for certain reasons. Penalty kicks are a specific type of direct free kick, given to the team that was fouled.
What Is The Difference Between Penalty And Free Kick In Football (Soccer)?
What Is The Difference Between Penalty And Free Kick In Football (Soccer)?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar has started and it's time to revisit the football terminologies and rules for a refresher. 

Like every other sport, this mega-popular sport and its players have certain rules and regulations to adhere to. There are a total of 17 rules in football, and one of them is regarding kicks. 

However, there are so many kicks in football/soccer that we are bound to get confused. 

So, in this article, we will help you understand the difference between free kicks and penalty kicks. 

What Are Free Kicks?

In association football, the process of resuming play is known as a free kick. It is given out following a violation of the rules by the opposing side.

There are two types of free kicks, direct free kicks, and indirect free kicks. 

  1. Indirect free kick: Indirect free kicks are given to restart the play after it had stopped because of a foul. After "non-penal" fouls or when the game is stopped to caution or dismiss an opponent without a specific foul having been committed, these are given to the opposing side.

This may not result in a goal being scored. Before any player scores, the ball must touch another player after the player takes an indirect free-kick.

Indirect free kicks are given when:

  • A player engages in dangerous play
  • A player obstructs an opponent's progress without physical contact
  • A player uses obscene, derogatory, or abusive language or gestures 
  • A player prevents a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from their hands
  • A player tries to kick the ball as a goalkeeper is attempting to do so.

Another thing worth mentioning is that indirect free kicks are also awarded when the goalkeeper commits an offense or tampers with the ball.

 

2. Direct free kick: Direct free kicks are given to the team which was fouled. More than often, direct free kicks result in a goal being scored. 

Direct free kicks are given when:

  • A player commits an offense by acting recklessly.
  • A player uses excessive force to commit an offense. 
  • A player engages in a handball infraction.
  • A player impedes or holds a member of the opposite team by physical contact.

Before we proceed further, we have a question for you: Why is football called soccer? Are they the same?

You can read the answer here

What Are Penalty Kicks?

A penalty kick is given to restart the game after it has paused because of a foul. In a penalty kick, a player is only given one shot to score a goal and is only defended by the goalkeeper of the opposite team. 

Penalty kicks are awarded when a player commits an offense inside their own penalty area that is punishable by a direct free kick. The penalty shot is taken at the penalty mark, which is located 11 meters from the goal line and in the middle of the touchlines.

What Is The Difference Between American Football and Soccer?

Difference Between Free Kicks And Penalty Kicks

A penalty kick is a specific type of direct free kick. 

A referee awards a penalty kick when a player engages in a direct kick foul inside the penalty area of the opposing team. When an opponent fouls inside the penalty box, the penalty kick is taken from the penalty spot, which is inside the penalty box. 

In contrast, a free kick is awarded when an opponent fouls inside the penalty box. Additionally, there is a player wall for free kicks, but only the goalie and penalty taker are present during penalties.

Another important thing to remember is that the area where the offense has taken place determines, as opposed to the severity of the offense, determines whether the specific offense warrants a direct free kick or a penalty kick.

We hope that through this article we were able to help you understand the differences between free kicks and penalty kicks. 

Here is another interesting read for you: All You Need To Know About The History Of Football (Soccer).

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