Referees award penalties for an infringement in the penalty area, for example a defender may handle the ball or foul an opponent but sometimes it is not always easy to make these decisions. We use the phrase ‘soft penalty‘ to describe a situation when a referee gives a penalty that should not really have been given; perhaps a player had dived or pretended to win the penalty. The opposite of soft penalty would be a stonewall penalty which is a clear penalty with no doubt attached to it. Soft penalty.
- Example: The Irish manager felt the penalty decision was soft and that the referee had fallen for the dive