Easy: Free kick
Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
This episode is easy so we’re looking at common football words and phrases. Things you use and need to know to play the game.
Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the word free-kick.
You can find more lessons on the side of this page.
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.
Jack: Hi there! I’m Jack. We’re here to help you with your football English. Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time.
Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.
Jack: This episode is easy so we’re looking at common football words and phrases. Things you use and need to know to play the game.
Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is a free kick.
Jack: A free kick is when the referee stops play and gives a player an opportunity to kick the ball without an opponent tackling or trying to take the ball off them.
Rich: You are given a free kick when the other team does something wrong - when they commit a foul.
Jack: The referee gives or awards free kicks. When a team has a free kick the other team must be at least ten yards away from the ball.
Rich: Ten yards?
Jack: Ten yards is 9.15 metres. A yard is a measurement that is used in the UK and the US. It’s not used so much in the UK these days.
Rich: But when this rule was introduced we used yards in Britain. It must be difficult for referees to get it exactly right.
Jack: I think referees usually estimate the distance. They also use that magic white spray now. I think that makes it easier and makes sure that defenders don’t get too close to the ball.
Rich: Have a listen to this conversation:
Jack: The ref’s got to give a free kick there.
Rich: It’s just outside the penalty area. Who’s going to take it?
Jack: Alexander-Arnold usually takes free kicks from here. Salah might take it.
Rich: It’s gonna be Salah. It’s over the wall. Goal!
Jack: What a free kick!
Rich: So, referees give or award free kicks and players take free kicks.
Jack: We often speak about who takes free kicks. Who takes free kicks for your team?
Rich: Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold often take free kicks for Liverpool.
Jack: Granit Xhaka takes free kicks for Arsenal when they are a long way from goal and Lacazette or Aubameyang might take them when they are near the penalty area.
Rich: In the example you just heard, Jack said ‘What a free kick!’ He used it to say that it was a fantastic free kick in the same way you might say ‘What a goal’ when a player scores a great goal.
Rich: A free kick can be awarded anywhere on the pitch.
Jack: But if a foul is committed by a player in their own penalty area then a penalty is awarded.
Rich: Normally but not always.
Jack: Ahh, that’s because we have two different types of free kick. A direct free kick and an indirect free kick.
Rich: That’s right. A direct free kick is given for more serious things like bad tackles and handball.
Jack: You can score directly from a direct free kick. If these things happen in the penalty area a penalty kick would be awarded.
Rich: An indirect free kick is given for less serious things like obstruction which is blocking an opponent, a goalkeeper picking up a back pass, offside and many other offences.
Jack: You can’t score directly from an indirect free kick. You need to pass the ball needs to hit an opponent before it goes in the net.
Rich: How do you know if your team has a direct or indirect free kick?
Jack: Look at the referee. If the referee’s hand is in the air it’s an indirect free kick.
Rich: There is the final whistle!
Jack: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.