Soccer Flops

Finally let's learn about one of the most controversial aspects of soccer: Flopping. Inevitably, every discussion of soccer will turn to this subject. So let's now learn about it, why it's done, and why it's so hard to penalize.


Flopping is the term used to describe any action by a player to falsely draw a foul on a clean play or waste extra time on a stoppage of play by faking an injury. An official can issue a caution to a player for simulation, or unsportsmanlike conduct. However, it is often very difficult for an official to make that determination at match speed. With VAR, flopping in the penalty area has become more rare, but players will still often attempt to waste time in the final minutes of a game's regulation or extra time if they are ahead.


Another word for flopping, diving is often used in the specific instance of attempting to draw a foul when there was not one committed.

One footnote to fouls in soccer is the notable prevalence of flopping, or exaggerated flailing and falling, to draw a penalty. While FIFA and other organizations try to reduce this, it is still, by and large, a part of the game.