In the vast world of football, where every kick and goal captivates fans worldwide, there exist some obscure and fascinating rules that often slip under the radar. While we’re all aware of recent changes in FIFA, such as the liberty to kick off a match from any position or the allowance for a fourth substitution in extra time, there are certain peculiarities that are so rare, you might not even have known they had rules. Here, we delve into five of the most peculiar and lesser-known regulations in the beautiful game.
Beyond the nail-biting tension of penalty shootouts lies a peculiar rule. If a player, having missed a penalty by hitting the crossbar, sees the ball return to them untouched by others, they are denied the opportunity for a follow-up shot. A goal in this scenario results in an indirect free-kick against the conceding team. It’s a unique twist in the tale of penalty kicks.
Imagine this scenario: an unauthorized person from one of the teams is on the field, and that team scores a goal. Surprisingly, the goal gets disallowed, and the game resumes with a goal kick or a dropped ball. Conversely, if the team with more players on the field concedes a goal, it stands. Even a fan’s intrusion won’t nullify a goal if it hasn’t directly influenced the play. It’s a strange, little-known quirk that adds an element of unpredictability.
Picture a player attempting to pass the ball directly back to their goalkeeper from a free-kick, only to see it accidentally end up in their own net. Strangely, this doesn’t count as an own goal! The condition is that no one else has played the ball en route to the goal. Instead of awarding a goal, the referee must grant a corner kick against the conceding team. A recent incident in the Spanish third division brought this rarity to light.
Equitable penalty showdowns:
Finally, consider the scenario of penalty kicks after the end of regular time. If one team has fewer players on the field due to injury or an expulsion, the other team must also withdraw a player. Both teams must then have an equal number of players for penalty kicks. The captain of the team with more players must decide which teammate will not take a penalty, adding an intriguing strategic element to the high-pressure moments.
The ‘Kepa’ refusal:
Recall the moment when Chelsea’s goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, defiantly refused to be substituted despite an injury. Surprisingly, he was well within his rights! According to FIFA regulations, a player can decline to leave the field during a substitution, and the game can continue. While such a decision might incur repercussions from the club, it’s a rule that adds an unexpected twist to the drama on the pitch.
In the intricate tapestry of football, these rare and quirky rules add layers of unpredictability, ensuring that even the most seasoned fans may discover something new and fascinating with each match.