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Football Language: (to) Draw a Foul

Draw a FoulThis short post on the language of football explains the meaning of the phrase ‘to draw a foul’, which is a phrase connected with tackles and free kicks. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Language: (to) Draw a Foul

A foul is when a player illegally stops another player, perhaps with a trip, a push, or a rash challenge. When a foul is committed, when a player fouls another, a free kick is awarded. Sometimes a player may want to be fouled and be awarded a free kick or, if the foul is in the box, a penalty. So, for example if an attacking player is running towards the ball in the box and a defender is also challenging for the ball, the attacker knows that if he or she is fouled they will be awarded a penalty. Or if a defender is shielding the ball near the goal line, and if he or she loses the ball they will be in a dangerous situation, they know if they are fouled the pressure will be released. In situations like these players often draw a foul, which means they encouraged the other player to foul them by perhaps making contact with their opponent and falling over, hoping the referee sees this as a foul.

  • Example: ‘Bernardeschi had dropped into a deeper role following the attacking changes but the winger forged forward and drew a clumsy foul from Correa to end a dazzling solo run, Kuipers pointing to the spot.’ Sports Star The Hindu (March 2019)

This means that the winger, Bernardeschi, encouraged the defender to foul him in the box – drew a clumsy foul – in order to win a penalty – Kuipers, the referee pointing to the spot.

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
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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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