The first knockout game of ISL 2022-23 saw a controversial goal from a free-kick.

How can a player execute a successful free-kick in football? Well, there are many aspects to it. The Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters ISL 2022-23 knockout game saw a major controversy when Sunil Chhetri netted a free-kick before Blasters keeper Prabhsukhan Gill had even arranged his wall. Since the drama has been the talk of the town since Friday night, we’ll dive deep into the basic rules of executing a free-kick.

Rules for taking a free-kick

All attacking team members must stay at least one metre (1 yard) away from a “wall” formed by three or more defenders until the ball enters play.

The free-kick can be taken by simultaneously raising the ball with one or both of your feet. Football allows players to take free-kicks intentionally to mislead their opponents.

The player must be still, and the kicker is not permitted to touch the ball once more until it has hit another player and is obviously moving when it is booted.

At least 9.15 metres (10 yards) must separate all opponents from the ball until it enters play unless they are on their own goal line between both the goalposts outside the penalty box for free-kicks within the rivals’ penalty area.

All attacking team members must stay at least one metre (1 yard) away from a “wall” formed by three or more defenders until the ball enters play.

As per the IFAB, Rule 13.3 states, “If, when a free-kick is taken, an opponent is closer to the ball than the required distance, the kick is retaken unless the advantage can be applied but if a player takes a free-kick quickly and an opponent who is less than 9.15 m (10 yards) from the ball intercepts it, the referee allows play to continue.”

Sunil Chhetri and Simon Grayson’s comments on the goal

Sunil Chhetri stated, “Referee (Crystal John) told us that he did not need a whistle to be blown or player wall. I asked him if he was sure and he said “Yes”. I guess (Adrian) Luna heard it and that’s why he tried blocking once.”

Simon Grayson said in the post-match press conference, “It’s not the way in which we wanted to progress through to the semifinals. There were a lot of controversies that we all know. From what I was hearing from Kerala Blasters and from our side was that we got the freekick and Sunil said did not want the wall to which the referee said no problem. Sunil waited for Luna to get out of the way twice and then put it in the top corner.”

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He added, “Kerala Blasters was saying that we should have waited for the referee to blow the whistle but the referee made the decision which ended in controversy. To be honest I would not have done the same thing personally as a coach rather would have accepted the referees’ decision and would have got back into the game in the best way possible. They decided to do something different which is something I wouldn’t have done.”

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