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Football Language: Clear Cut

This post explains how the adjective  ‘clear cut’.

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Clear Cut

When a penalty is awarded, fans and pundits talk about the decision. Was it a good decision? Was it a harsh decision? Was it a mistake by the referee? If everyone agrees that it was a penalty, you can use clear cut in a phrase, as in ‘It was a clear-cut penalty‘. This means there was no doubt, everyone can see that the decision was correct; there is no argument. When a penalty decision is not clear cut, you might use the phrase ‘It was a harsh penalty.’

Example: Cambridge United boss Jez George tells BBC Radio Cambridgeshire he believes his side should have won a “clear-cut” penalty in the second half against Wrexham. (BBC)

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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