Weekly English for Football Phrase: Off the ball incident

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Weekly Football PhraseEvery week during the 2010-11 season, the languagecaster team explain a football phrase or cliché for learners of English who love the sport. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase and you can also read the transcript below that. You can find many more examples by going to our football phrase page here, football clichés here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here: Off the ball incident

This week’s English for football is ‘off the ball incident‘. Most of the action on the football pitch takes place near the ball, when players are controlling the ball, passing it, shooting or tackling, but sometimes there is action away from the ball. This action is ‘off the ball‘. Usually, the referee does not see this action as he or she is watching the players near the ball. An off the ball incident often involves foul play. Two players may come to blows, or a player may insult the crowd or the opposing bench. Last weekend, England and Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney, elbowed Wigan’s James McCarthy in the face in a Premier League game off the ball. The referee did not clearly see the incident and only awarded a free kick. Most people expected a red card for this off the ball incident.

Example: ‘Wigan boss Roberto Martinez said Rooney deserved a red card after an early off-the-ball incident with James McCarthy.’ www.caughtoffside.com

Off the ball incident

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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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