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

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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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