Call foul (soccer/football)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by keramus, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. keramus

    keramus Senior Member

    Mashhad
    Persian
    Hello everybody

    According to Oxford Collocations Dictionary, "call foul" is used in Basketball.
    Can we use "call foul" in football/soccer?
    The referee called foul and sent him off.

    Please tell me your opinion.
     
  2. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    You can use this term in any activity. It's what a player or spectator (as well as the referee) may do if he sees an offence. "Foul, ref! Do you need glasses? That was a foul - where's your white stick?" and other such insults.

    In other contexts, e.g. "The opposition leader called foul when he saw police preventing citizens from voting."
     
  3. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
  4. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    I agree with #3. Soccer uses the terms "foul" and "misconduct" (worse than "foul"). But the phrase "call foul" is new to me. I don't remember hearing "call foul" used in any sport.

    The word "foul" is a countable noun (in this meaning). So it requires "a/the" before it. More common is "the referee called a foul".

    "Foul" is also a verb meaning "commit a foul". "Robinson fouled Sanchez" means Robinson committed an action against Sanchez that is a "foul" by the rules of the game. In AE we would say this, even if the referee did not call a foul.

    Note that in some sports, "foul" a synonym for "out of bounds". This is normal in baseball, for example.
     
  5. keramus

    keramus Senior Member

    Mashhad
    Persian
    Excuse me, can I use "give a foul"?
    The referee gave a foul.
     
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Yes. That is idiomatic.

    (There is a difference between "call foul" and call a foul".)
     
  7. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    A "foul" (noun) is an action by a player. It is not something that the referee gives a player.

    The phrase "The referee called a foul on Thomas" means that the referee (after stopping the game) announced that Thomas had committed a foul. The referee might then "give" Thomas a penalty for the foul, or "give" Thomas' team a penalty.
     
  8. AirbusA321LR Senior Member

    Philippines
    German
    That's right but in most cases you only get a direct or indirect free kick.
     
  9. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    This is AE usage. I have not yet got a clear picture of how it all works for each sport in AE and BE. (For example, in basketball, it is possible to say “Team A has a foul to give” but that’s completely different from a foul in soccer.)
    I grew up with the use of “on” referring to the player that suffered the foul, not the one who committed it, so if I caught the end of a sentence: “... a foul on Thomas” I would interpret it (then) as someone fouled Thomas (but now, in AE, I would hear it as Thomas committed the foul. And if Thomas was offside, for example (playing the ball in an offside piosition is a “foul”) then he would be called offside, and not “Offside was called on Thomas”, as perhaps AE soccer commentators might. So I remain confused - one of the few areas my bilingualism lets me down:( :D
     
  10. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    (Perhaps Doji is using penalty as a generic consequence, rather than specifying a penalty kick - often called a PK here)
     

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