Do you know there are football tricks banned in football? Football is beautiful for many reasons, and one of those reasons is the very entertaining tricks and skills we see footballers pull off now and then. They are surely very interesting to watch. Well, except when it’s being done against your team.
But these days, many of these tricks are frowned upon when they are done during official matches. Some have even been banned outright, and it is those that we want to talk about in this video today.
7 Football tricks banned in football
Here are 7 football tricks that have been banned in football forever.
1. The shirt catch
If you ever played football on the streets then you are surely familiar with this trick where you trap a descending ball inside your shirt such that it looks like you’re imitating a pregnant woman.
That trick, although funny on the streets, is pretty much illegal in pro football. That shirt would be regarded as an extension of the player’s arms and would be treated as if the player handled the ball. Norwegian right back, Jan Gunnar Solli, once did this during a game and got booked for it.
2. Donkey kick free kick
This is a free-kick routine that involves a player using a donkey kick to elevate the ball for a teammate to hit it goalward. We saw Coventry players unleash this trick against Everton back in 1970, and looking at it, we still do not understand why this one was banned. It seems brilliant and it is not much different from what Ivan Toney attempted against Arsenal.
3. Running knee lock
We understand why this trick is illegal. Trapping the ball in between your knees and running with it is as good as picking the ball up and running around the pitch with it. So, if you try this during an official match, prepare to be stopped midway into your trick and get booked for your troubles.
4. Neck stall
You all know this trick. Almost every player does this very trick during their unveiling at a new club. After a couple of minutes of keepie-uppies, they kick the ball up and trap it with the back of their necks.
But the thing is, that’s where it ends – the unveiling or the warmup or anything else really that isn’t an official football game.
It’s not exactly illegal to do per se. It’s just regarded as unsportsmanlike and you won’t get the best reception from opposition fans and players and even the media if you attempt it. Don’t also be surprised if you get a booking for it.
You can also check out – 7 Countries that have been banned from playing in the World Cup
5. Seal dribble
This is another entertaining trick. The player is juggling the ball on his forehead as he runs. It takes a great deal of practice and expertise to be able to properly execute this, but all that expertise is not exactly welcome in official football matches.
Just like the neck stall, you will not exactly be doing anything illegal if you attempt the seal dribble during an official game, but it can be regarded as unsporting behavior and you can very well be booked for that. Of course, booking the player would be completely down to the discretion of the match official but don’t be surprised if a player sees yellow for that.
Sometimes, the referee can decide to give a free kick the opposite way without a booking. The reason is that the player can be said to be playing in a way that exposes himself to injury.
If you don’t understand how check out this video of when Kerlon attempted the seal dribble during an official match. Kerlon was the king of the seal dribble back in the early 2000s, and many attribute the early death of the midfielder’s career to injuries due to excessive and unnecessary showboating.
So, you could say that some of these laws are protecting these players from themselves.
6. Head stall
The head stall is very similar to the seal dribble. The only difference is that, while the seal dribble involves you juggling the ball on your forehead and running, you’re just balancing the ball and running with the head stall.
Again, this is not an easy skill to execute, especially considering you can’t use your hands to help you balance the ball on your head. So, when players do it during warmup, an unveiling, a charity game, or just on the streets, it is always met with cheers by fans. But during an official football match, it’s a different ballgame. It is regarded as unsportsmanlike and strongly discouraged.
Also, like the neck stall, it could be regarded as dangerous play and a player can get booked for it. But again, this one is subject to the match official. Some will let it go, some others won’t.
7. Low headers
This one confuses a lot of people, even professional footballers themselves.
So, you know how back passes cannot be handled by goalkeepers? Yeah, so some players try to hack that by passing with their heads instead. Now, if the ball is in the air and you pass back with your head, that’s cool. But if you try and pass a ball that’s on the ground with your head, whether by going down on all fours or by flicking the ball up with your leg and passing with your head, you have done something illegal.
No, we’re not making this up. The laws of the game pretty much explicitly address this very thing. Here’s what it says:
“A player may pass the ball to his own goalkeeper using his head, chest, knee, etc.; however, if in the opinion of the referee, the player uses a deliberate trick — such as flicking the ball to his head with his foot and heading it to the goalkeeper or kneeling and deliberately pushing the ball to the goalkeeper with his head or knee — he must be cautioned for ungentlemanly conduct.
“It makes no difference whether or not the goalkeeper touches the ball with his hands the offense is committed by the player who is seeking to circumvent both the Spirit and Letter of the Law.”
If this happens, the player is booked and a free kick is awarded to the opponent. We have seen this happen a couple of times in big games. We saw Veratti and Perisic get booked for doing different variations of this for PSG and Inter Milan respectively back in 2019.
You can see how very shocked all the players were. Even the players themselves don’t know all the rules of the game.
What are your thoughts on these tricks being banned? Let us know in the comments.