Invite a foulOn today’s football language listening post we look at the phrass ‘Invite a foul‘ and explain how it’s used in football. For this audio report there is a transcript which is great for learners and teachers of English. If you have questions or comments about this, or any other football phrase, you can email us at:

Football Language Podcast: Invite a foul

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well and in this short football language podcast, I am going to explain a phrase that is connected to the language of fouling: to invite a foul.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Dutch).

Now, when a player illegally stops an opponent we can say that they commit a foul and the referee then has to award a free kick or a penalty if the offence (the foul) takes place in the penalty area. Sometimes, however, a player wants to be fouled because it might result in a better position for their team or they may be able to win a free kick or penalty. When this happens we can say that they have invited a foul. Of course, the verb ‘to invite’ suggests something welcoming or positive but in this case the player is trying to trick the defender into fouling them in order to win a free kick or penalty – or that the opponent receives a yellow card. Another way of saying this is to draw a foul which suggests that the attacker is waiting for the contact to take place and then wins a free kick although I think that to draw a foul may involve less trickery than to invite the foul. This idea that a player can ‘win a foul‘ is interesting as some fans and commentators don’t like the fact that a player can play for a foul or invite a foul as they see it as a form of cheating, something similar to diving.

Stinger: Hello, my name is Ahmed Adam. I support the Al-Hilal Sports Club, that’s a side from the Sudanese Premier League and you are listening to

Now, you can also listen to another podcast from Damon, the other member of the languagecaster team, who talks about controversial penalties and he talks a little bit about inviting a foul.

Thanks everyone for listening – remember that you can access the transcript for this short report by coming along to our site at and we’d love to hear from you so drop us a line at Bye bye.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. If you have any suggestions, contact us at

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Football GlossaryEpisode 698