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Legal News for Fu’tbol Fans

As many of my clients, friends and family know, Soccer is my favorite sport – both to watch and to play. I spent my freshmen year of college playing soccer for the University of Louisville Cardinals. It was an amazing experience. These days, watching the 2014 World Cup with friends, family and colleagues with less soccer watching/playing experience, I get my fair share of questions about rules, procedures and other basics of the game. Soccer has to be one of the most difficult sports to officiate. There are 22 players for one field referee to monitor with the assistance of only 2 side-line ref’s. It is a fast paced game with action going on in front of and behind the referrer’s back. Thankfully, like the laws attorneys study in law school and keep up with every day, there are rules to the game and these rules have for the most part stayed the same over the last 50 plus years.

Like federal, state and local rules, the rules of soccer (or futbol depending on how dedicated of a fan you are) are codified in a book for all to review and learn. Most all soccer leagues, even recreational and kids leagues, follow the rules promulgated by FIFA – the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. FIFA’s rules titled The Laws of the Game can be found here.

So, the next time you wonder why the referee adds 4 more minutes to the end of a game or how big a player’s shin-guards must be, check with FIFA. Also, enjoy the rest of the 2014 World Cup – its a great game!

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