Football Game Rules and Laws Act 2023 (Details)

Football is the most popular sport in the world. Football is played in 195 countries of the world. Not every country may participate at the international level. But playing football in the field or on the road is not excluded in any country. Every time the football World Cup comes around, a wave of excitement sweeps across the globe. And Bangladesh may not be mentioned. Seeing the frenzy of Bengalis in the procession of different colored flags, it seems as if the World Cup is being held in Bangladesh. Whether the game is World Cup or Copa America or Euro Cup. I want to chat with my parents and friends and watch live football matches . But if you don’t understand the rules of football, you may feel like a laughing stock in that chat. So today’s article contains details about football rules and laws.

1) Playground:

The football field is rectangular in shape. The surface of the field must be completely natural or completely artificial. If it is an artificial field, its color must be green.

Field spots:

  • Playground surfaces must be made of safe
  • Out of the 4 lines that mark the boundary of the rectangular field, the longest two lines are called touch lines. The other two lines are called goal lines.
  • The entire field is divided by a median line. A circle is drawn centered on the space right in the middle of the midline. The name of the circle is the median. Its radius is 9.15 meters.
  • Each line must be of equal width. And no line should be more than 5 inches wide.
  • No player may alter any score in any way.

Field size

Length: 90-120 meters in normal game. 100-110 meters in international games.

Width: 45-90 meters in normal game. 64-75 meters in international games

Goal area

From the two goalposts, two lines of 5.5 meters long should be drawn outwards along the goal line. Then two lines of 5.5 meters long should be drawn inside the field from the goal line. Connect those two lines with another line. The resulting rectangle is the area of the goal.

Penalty area

In the same way as determining the goal area, two lines should be drawn from the goal post on both sides. The length of each line will be 16.5 meters. Two more lines of 16.5 meters long should be drawn inside the field from the end of each line. The rectangle formed by connecting the two lines is the penalty area. A penalty mark must be drawn inside the penalty area. Its location is just 11 meters from the middle of the two goalposts. A circle with a radius of 9.15 meters shall be drawn centered on the penalty mark. The circle will only be visible outside the penalty area

Corner area

There will be four corner areas at the four corners of the field. A corner area should be drawn inside the field with a radius of 1 meter centered on each corner.


  • The rectangular shape with two goalposts and a crossbar is collectively called a ‘goal. Players score ‘goals’ by putting the ball into it.
  • The goal position willbe exactly midway between the two goal lines.
  • The distance between the two goalposts is 7.32 meters. The height of the crossbar from the ground will be 2.44 m
  • The color of the goalposts and crossbars must be white. Each bar must be the same width.

2) Ball:

The most important thing in football is the ball. Without the ball, football is not possible. But there are some rules about that ball too.

Size and volume

  • The ball must be completely round.
  • The circumference of the ball will be 68-70 cm.
  • Weight 410-450 grams.
  • The air pressure inside the ball will be 0.6-1.1 atmosphere.

Force change

Football cannot be changed at will. The decision to change the ball can only be taken by the referee. If the referee deems the ball unplayable, a new ball is used instead.

Shots are replayed if the ball is lost during kick-off, goal kick, corner kick, free kick, penalty kick and throw-in. If the ball is fouled during a penalty-kick and does not touch the goalkeeper or the goalpost/crossbar before being fouled, a penalty-kick is awarded again.

3) Players:

Players are the lifeblood of the game. It is because of their skill that the game of football is so lively and exciting. Every player has to follow all rules of football game. There are even rules about the players themselves.

Number of players:

  • There will be two teams in the game. Each team can have a maximum of 11 players.
  • Each team must have a goalkeeper.
  • If a team has less than 7 players then the game cannot be started.
  • The referee is not obliged to stop the game even if the total number of players of his team falls below 7 if a player leaves the field of play completely intentionally during the game.
  • Each player and substitute must be named before the start of the game.

Team leader

A football team has a team leader. The team leader is responsible for the overall management of the team on the field. But the party leader has no separate executive powers.

Additional players

The number of additional players may vary in different match types.

  • A maximum of 12 players can be kept as substitutes in international matches. A maximum of 3 players can be changed. But now there is a chance to change 5 times due to Corona.
  • A maximum of 12 additional players are permitted for national level ‘A’ teams. In this case, maximum 6 times players can be changed.
  • In other domestic matches, the number of additional players and their substitutes may be decided by consensus of the two teams and the referee.

4) Player equipment:

Players cannot carry much in the game of football. Gloves, bats or other equipment like cricket are absent in this game. But there are some things that every international soccer player must have.

  • Shirt (Jersey) with sleeves.
  • shorts.
  • socks Note that the color of the tape on the socks must match the color of the socks.
  • Shinguard.
  • shoes.

However, if you want to be a goalkeeper, you can wear a tracksuit. And if a player’s shoes or shinguards are lost during the game, they should be replaced as soon as possible. However, even if a goal is scored with bare feet, it will be considered as a goal Also, every player should wear the same colored jersey. But the goalkeeper must wear a different colored jersey to distinguish him from the team. If a player wears a headcover it must be of the same color as the jersey Also no player may carry anything dangerous into the game. If he does, the referee will eject him and he will not be allowed to re-enter the game without the referee’s permission. Use of any device other than EPTS is strictly prohibited

5) Referee:

The referee is the overall controller of any football game The referee’s decision on any matter during the game shall be final. He is responsible for conducting the entire game according to the rules. And he has the power to punish any player according to the rules for breaking the rules. He uses red and yellow cards in this regard. He can caution a player with a yellow card. And with the help of a red card, you can cancel a player from that game. If a player receives two yellow cards, it is considered as a red card.

In addition to enforcing the rules in the game of football, the referee makes other decisions. For example, whether a goal has been scored or not, A foul did not happen. Apart from that, he also decides whether the game will continue or stop temporarily if a player is injured. Besides, when the players get involved in arguments, he mediates it and stops or starts the game. If there is a problem in the game due to any external reason, he can decide to stop or continue the game. During the game he controls the game with various signals. You can better understand the signals by looking at the image below.

Referee’s equipment

A referee must have several pieces of equipment with him. It is necessary to keep some tools in it. They are:

  • Whistle
  • watch
  • Red and yellow cards
  • Notebook or any object with which he can keep a record of the game.

If the referees want, they can keep some things besides these:

  • Buzzer/blip flags or headsets to communicate with other match officials
  • EPTS ( Electronic Performance & Tracking Systems) or any other monitoring device.

However, no referee can use jewelry or any electrical device in the field. Not even a camera. And at the end of the game the referee must submit a description of the entire game to the match authorities.

6) Authority other than Referee:

Although the football game is not very long in terms of time, its field size is quite large. It is not possible for a referee to take care of all sides in such a big field. And so some other people work to ease the referee’s workload. They are the authority on the field apart from the referee. This remains the authority

  • Two assistant referees.
  • A Fourth Official.
  • Two additional assistant referees.
  • Reserve Assistant Referee.

There is also a video assistant referee and at least one assistant to the video assistant referee in front of the TV screen outside the field.

Assistant Referee

The assistant referee is second only to the referee in terms of authority. The Assistant Referee takes care of things to manage the game properly:

  • Note whether the ball has gone completely out of bounds.
  • Determining which team gets corner kick, free kick, goal kick. Determining whether or not offside has occurred.
  • Signaling when a player change is required
  • During a penalty kick, the goalkeeper should be aware that the player has moved from the goal line before the player has touched the ball.

Apart from these tasks, the fourth officials do the work of player change, player equipment inspection, ball change etc. In addition, additional assistant referees mainly assist the assistant referees in their work.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

Video Assistant Referee is a modern addition to football. This referee is not on the field but in front of the TV. With the help of a zoomed in camera, he constantly observes the ball and its surroundings. As a result, if an incident escapes the referee or assistant referee’s eye, he can make a decision. Video assistant referees are currently required when making decisions regarding goals, penalties or free kicks. However, this video assistant referee never performs the duties alone. At least one of his assistants is constantly looking at the TV while reviewing a decision.

7) Play time:

Many people may know that football game lasts for 90 minutes. The 90-minute game is divided into two 45- minute halves. After the end of the first half there is a break called half time. The duration of this half time can be maximum 15 minutes. During this time the players rest or decide the next strategy.

Increase in time

The referee may extend the time in both halves of the game. Usually the referee extends the time for reasons.

  • Change player.
  • Observation or removal of injured player.
  • Waste of time.
  • Chaos in the match.
  • Treatment break.
  • Review by Video Assistant Referee.

In addition, the referee can extend the time for other urgent reasons. But he cannot increase the time in the second half of the game in any way for the first half of the game. It should be noted that if there is a penalty kick to be taken, it can be taken even after the end of time.

8) Game start process:

A football game usually starts in two processes. One is the kick off, the other is the dropped ball. Usually the first half and second half of the game starts with the kick off. Extra time also starts with kick off. On the other hand, if the referee stops the game for any reason, the game starts with a dropped bal.

Kick off

  • The team that wins the toss decides whether they want to kick off or decide which part of the field is theirs.
  • If the team winning the toss wishes to kick off, the opposing team has the opportunity to decide which part of the field will be theirs.
  • If the team winning the toss decides which part of the field is theirs, the opposition gets the opportunity to kick off.
  • Players from each team must be in their section at kick off.
  • The ball rests on the center mark of the field. The kick off is done only after the referee gives the signal.
  • All opposing team players must be at least 9.15 meters away from the ball at the time of kick-off.
  • The game starts when the ball starts moving because of the kick-off. If a player scores a goal directly from the kick off, it counts ito as as a goal.
  • If the player taking the kick off touches the ball again before it has been touched by another player, the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick.

Dropped ball

If the referee stops play, play is restarted by giving the ball a drop. This is called a dropped ball

  • If the ball is inside a team’s penalty area when play is stopped, the ball is dropped for the goalkeeper inside the penalty area.
  • If play is stopped in any other part of the field, play is resumed with a drop at the place where play was stopped.
  • Only the player who last touched the ball when the ball is dropped may be in possession of the ball. All other players must remain in their respective positions (at least 4 meters away from the ball).
  • Play starts as soon as the ball touches the ground.
  • The ball is dropped again if a player touches the ball before it touches the ground or if the ball rolls out of bounds before it is touched by a player.

9) In and out of ball games:

The ball often goes out of play during football. Then the game has to be restarted according to the proper rules.

The ball shall be deemed out of play if:

  • The ball goes out of bounds
  • Play was stopped by the referee.
  • The ball hits someone on the match official and either gives the opposing team a great attacking opportunity or the ball is scored directly or the team in possession loses the ball to the opposing team.

In all such cases the ball shall be deemed out of play and play shall commence with a dropped ball. Besides, the rest of the time will be counted as being in ball play. Even after a match has been imposed by the authorities if none of the above incidents occur, the match will continue. The game continues even if the ball hits the goalpost, crossbar or corner post and returns to the field.

10) Determining the result of the game:

The result of a football game is determined by the number of goals. In simple words, the team that scores more goals is the winner. But there are some conditions for scoring.


  • A goal is scored when the ball enters either team’s goal post or crossbar. In this case the entire ball must cross the goal line. If any part of the ball is over the line, it is not considered a goal.
  • If the referee signals a goal before the ball has completely crossed the goal line, play will restart with a dropped ball.

If both teams score an equal number of goals, the match will naturally be declared a draw. In that case tiebreaker method is resorted to to break the draw or tie.

In this case, two methods are adopted.

  • Away goal.
  • Penalty kick.

Penalty kick

  • Each team may take an equal number of penalty kicks.
  • Maximum time for penalty will be 1 5 minutes.
  • The referee will decide by toss which goal post the penalty kick will be taken.
  • The team winning the toss will decide whether to kick first or second
  • Each team must designate an equal number of players who will take penalty kicks. However, any player who has already left the game cannot take part in the penalty.
  • If the goalkeeper is unable to perform his duties another player of the team can take over his duties.
  • The goalkeeper who stands to defend the goal, the opposing team’s goalkeeper must stand on the goal line just outside the penalty area. So that later he can quickly reach the goal post.
  • If any player other than the goalkeeper is unable to play, no one else can take his place.
  • Each player can only take one penalty kick. After all designated players have taken at least one penalty kick, one may re-kick.
  • The team that scores more goals in the first 5 goals will be the winner. If two teams score equal number of goals, the number of penalty kicks will be increased. Whoever scores more goals in an equal number of penalty kicks wins

11) Offside:

Offside is a very familiar term in football but many people don’t know what it means. A player shall be deemed to be offside if:

  • The player is in the opposing team’s section and there are no opposing players.
  • The player stays close to the opposing team’s goal line but the opposing team’s players are further in front of him.
  • However, if the opposing team’s player is on the side or behind, it will not be offside.

Note that a goal scored by an offside player does not count as a goal and the opposing team receives a goal kick.

12) Fouls and misconduct:

Foul is a very familiar word in the game of football. A foul is a foul that unfairly hits or obstructs a player of the opposite side. Fouls have been around since the birth of the game of football . Many players lost their lives due to fouls in football. Hence there are many rules and disciplinary measures to limit any kind of foul or misconduct in the game. In particular, yellow and red cards have been introduced to prevent fouls. Also, if a player commits a foul, the opposing team is often awarded direct or indirect free kicks and penalty kicks

Direct free kick

A team will be awarded a direct free kick if a player from the opposing team commits the following fouls:

  • One player lunges aggressively at another player.
  • Push.
  • Jumped.
  • Kicks or attempts to kick.
  • Injures or attempts to injure.
  • Deliberately throws or attempts to throw someone.
  • Holds the player of the opposite team.
  • By handball means putting the ball in the hand or touching it in any way.
  • Biting or spitting on someone.
  • Throwing something at the ball or at a person.

Not to mention the rules of handball in the game of football. When the football touches a player’s hand, it is considered a handball. However, touching the ball on the arm from the shoulder to the armpit will not count as a handball. Touching below it will result in a handball. But not every handball is a crime.

The player is not penalized if the ball is touched unintentionally. Handball shall be considered an offense when:

  • The player shall reach out and touch the ball with the intention of touching it.
  • Deliberately placing the hand in an unusual position to risk hitting the ball and touching the bal.
  • If the player hits the goal

For these reasons, handball is a punishable offence. The same rule applies even for goalkeepers outside the penalty area.

Indirect free kick

  • If a player plays too dangerously.
  • Obstructing a player of the opposing team without touching it.
  • Abusing or cursing.
  • If the goalkeeper blocks the ball when it is released or tries to kick the ball before it is released.
  • Doing any act that interferes with the game even if it is not mentioned in the rules.
  • If the goalkeeper holds the ball in the penalty area for more than 6 seconds before releasing it
  • Once the goalkeeper throws the ball, another player catches it with his hands before touching it.
  • A player of the same team deliberately passes the ball to the goalkeeper inside the penalty area.
  • If a player of his team immediately catches it with his hands after throwing in.

13) Free kick:

As mentioned earlier, free kick is an integral part of football. You already know why direct and indirect free kicks are done. In this part of the article we will know exactly how to score a free kick.

A free kick is usually taken at the spot where the foul was committed. But there are some exceptions. For example:

  • If the attacking team receives an indirect free kick inside the opponent’s goal area, the free kick is taken from the goal area line.
  • If the defending team is awarded an indirect free kick inside their own goal area, it can be taken from anywhere in the goal area.
  • If a player breaks the rules when entering and leaving the field, the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick. In that case play starts from where the ball was last played.
  • If a player commits an offense outside the field of play, an indirect free kick is awarded by placing the ball as close as possible to the spot where the offense was committed. If a foul is committed near the penalty area (outside the field), the opposing team is penalized by a penalty shot.

Position of ball and player

  • The ball will remain stationary on the ground.
  • Every player of the opposing team shall be at least 9.1 5 meters away from the ball. However, players can take positions on the goal line inside their own goal posts.
  • If the foul is inside the penalty area, every player of the opposing team must stay outside their own penalty area. But at that time 3 players can create a barrier in front of the ball. Which is called “Wall”.

It must be remembered that direct goals can only be scored from direct free kicks. A goal scored from ar indirect free kick shall not count as a goal

14) Penalty:

If a player of the attacking team commits a foul while inside the defending team’s penalty area that results in a direct free kick being awarded, the attacking team will receive a penalty.

Penalty shot rules

  • The ball must rest on the penalty mark.
  • The name of the player who will take the penalty shot must be clearly announced.
  • All other players must be outside the penalty area and at least 9.1 5 meters from the ball when taking a penalty shot.
  • The kick must be taken after the referee gives the signal. The ball cannot be kicked backwards.
  • The goalkeeper must remain on the goal line until the ball is kicked.
  • A penalty can only be concluded if the ball is scored, stops moving, or is certain that a goal cannot be scored.

15) Throw in:

When the ball goes out of the field, it is thrown into the field from that point. This is called throw in. A goal can never be scored directly from a throw-in. A goal kick is awarded if the ball somehow goes directly into the opponent’s goal. And if the ball enters the own goal, a corner kick is given.

Rule of throw in

  • The player who throws in must be facing the field.
  • Both feet must be on the ground.
  • Throw the ball with both hands above the head.
  • The player taking the throw in may not touch the ball again before another player has touched the ball.
  • No player may be within 2 meters of where the ball is tossed.
  • If the ball touches the ground before entering the field, a throw-in is required.

16) Goal kick:

A goal kick is awarded to the defending team when the ball crosses the goal line at the feet of a player of the attacking team. Direct goals can be scored with goal kicks. Although that is almost impossible.

Goal kick rules

  • Any player of that team can kick a goal from anywhere in the goal area.
  • Players of the opposing team must be outside the penalty area when kicking a goal.
  • The game starts as soon as the ballis kicked and starts moving.
  • If the player who kicked the goal touches the ball again before it has been touched by another player, the opposing team will be awarded a direct free kick. If this happens inside the penalty area, the opposing team will get a penalty. However, if the player kicking the goal is the goalkeeper himself, an indirect free kick will be awarded, not a penalty.

17) Corner kick:

If the defending team sends the ball out through their own goal line, the opposing team gets a corner kick. It is quite similar to the name. Two circles are drawn inside the field at the two corners of the goal line. The opposing team kicks the ball from here, which is called a corner kick.

Rules for corner kicks

  • A corner kick must be taken from the side of the goal post where the ball went out of bounds.
  • The ball must be stationary and a player from the attacking team kicks the ball.
  • Opposing players must be at least 9.15 meters away from the corner.
  • The corner flagpole cannot be moved.
  • After a corner kick, if the same player touches the ball again before the ball has touched another player, the defending team is awarded a direct free kick.

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