Soccer Direct Free Kick

Soccer Direct Free Kick

A direct free kick in soccer is one of three ways to put the ball back into play after a foul has occurred. Direct free kicks are awarded to the team that was fouled, giving them possession of the ball. Read on to learn more about direct free kicks.

Direct Free Kick Procedure

After the play has been whistled dead by the referee, a player from the fouled team will place the ball at the spot of the foul. They then kick the ball, either passing it to a teammate or kicking it on net. This is the difference between direct and indirect free kicks, as indirect free kicks must touch another player before going in the net.

All defenders must stay 10 yards away from the ball before it is kicked on a direct free kick. If an opponent is within 10 yards when a direct free kick is taken, the kick will be retaken.

Offenses That Result In A Direct Free Kick

According to the Laws of the Game, there are ten offenses that result in a direct free kick. If done in a manner considered reckless, careless or using excessive force, the first seven such offenses include:

  • Kicking or attempting to kick an opponent
  • Tripping or attempting to trip an opponent
  • Jumping at an opponent
  • Charging an opponent
  • Striking or attempting to strike an opponent
  • Pushing an opponent
  • Tackling an opponent

Regardless of the manner in which they were completed, three other offenses also result in a direct free kick. Those three offenses include:

  • Holding an opponent
  • Spitting at an opponent
  • Handling the ball deliberately (except by a goalkeeper within the penalty area)


What is a direct free kick in soccer?

A direct free kick is a type of free kick that results from a foul and is taken from the spot of said foul. Direct free kicks are typically given to a team whose member is either touched in an inappropriate manner or for deliberately handling the ball. For most instances, the severity of these fouls are up to the discretion of the referee.

What is the difference between a direct and indirect free kick?

The difference between a direct and indirect free kick is that direct free kicks can be shot directly on net, while indirect free kicks must touch another player. The fouls that result in each type of free kick are also different. An indirect free kick can be awarded when there is dangerous play that involves no contact, while direct free kicks are reserved for more physical fouls.

How long do you have to wait to take a direct free kick?

Once a referee whistles for a foul that results in a direct free kick, the fouled team can take the kick instantly. Unlike penalties, the team that was fouled does not have to wait for the defense to reset or the referee to blow another whistle.