Football - An Introduction

Football is the most popular sport in the world, both to play and bet on.

The aim is simple – to have scored more goals than your opponent once the full-time whistle has blown.

Below, you can find an introduction to how the game is played and what can and cannot be done to help you when choosing your bet selections.

The Match

• Football consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes long with a 15-minute break in between – additional time for stoppages and injuries is added at the end of each half.

• In professional football, each side has 11 players and is permitted to make three substitutions in a game. There can be between six and 12 substitutes on the bench, depending on specific competition rules.

• If a team’s player picks up an injury and all three substitutes have been used, their side must continue with however many players are left on the field.

• Should five players from either side be either sent off or injured and irreplaceable, the game is abandoned and their opponents record a 3-0 victory.


• The referee can give a player a yellow card for any incident he deems to be appropriate – this can include a late challenge, dissent or persistent fouling.

• If serious enough, the referee has the right to brandish a red card and send the player off – these include two bookable offences, serious foul play, abusive language and striking an opponent in the face.

• Free-kicks and penalties are awarded for fouls, offsides and handballs. If they are in the 18-yard box of the area the opponents are shooting in, a penalty is awarded – offsides are excluded from this.

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