foul play/unfair play

lapot

Senior Member
Hello. I'd like to know how do you call in American English what in British English is called 'foul play'. I mean, when some player is violent, tackling against the rules or when you score a goal when someone else on the other team is injured.

What is the more common term for this? 'Unfair play' or 'foul play'? Maybe both, maybe none.
I've read the first one in the New York Times but I don't know if you usually use it in sports.

Thanks in advance!! :D
 
  • Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    What is the more common term for this? 'Unfair play' or 'foul play'? Maybe both, maybe none.
    I've read the first one in the New York Times but I don't know if you usually use it in sports.
    The first thing that comes to mind when I see 'foul play' is that someone has been murdered as in 'victim of foul play'. :eek:

    For your first example American announcers might say that it was a 'hard foul' and for your second example it could be called 'unsportsmanlike conduct'.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Hello. I'd like to know how do you call in American English what in British English is called 'foul play'. I mean, when some player is violent, tackling against the rules or when you score a goal when someone else on the other team is injured.

    What is the more common term for this? 'Unfair play' or 'foul play'? Maybe both, maybe none.
    I've read the first one in the New York Times but I don't know if you usually use it in sports.

    Thanks in advance!! :D

    I think in British English the offending play is simply called "a foul" rather than a "foul play".

    Foul
    n
    • a violation of the rules

    For example: "Rooney just committed a foul (on Dempsey). He clearly went for the legs and not the ball during that tackle."

    I'm not sure if this helps clarify the question foe AE speakers or not!
     

    lapot

    Senior Member
    Thanks, guys!

    I think the general term is just "foul".

    I'm a little confused here. I've always thought a foul is just a foul, there's not always violence involved. A little push can be a foul.
    But I'm talking about a foul with violence. For example, Nigel De Jong tackle on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup Final.

    Do you use 'foul' in all these cases? Maybe 'hard foul' is a better option?

    On the other hand, I like 'unsportsmanlike conduct' for my second example.
     

    Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    I understand that the foul is umbrella term and that there are several types of fouls depending on the nature of it.
     

    Grefsen

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I think in British English the offending play is simply called "a foul" rather than a "foul play".



    For example: "Rooney just committed a foul (on Dempsey). He clearly went for the legs and not the ball during that tackle."
    If in this example Dempsey had been denied a clear scoring opportunity by Rooney's tackle, then it could also be called a "professional foul."
     

    dadane

    Senior Member
    English-London
    "Foul play" is sometimes used in a plural sense. e.g. "He was guilty of some serious foul play during that match" implying multiple incidents.
    Just an example of usage of "foul play" in BE. Can't comment on AE equivalent.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I mean, when some player is violent, tackling against the rules or when you score a goal when someone else on the other team is injured.

    "Serious foul play" is sometimes used to describe violent rule-breaking but the last of the three examples is simply "unsportsmanlike conduct" and not "foul play" (in BrE : It's just not cricket :eek: ) to score when you should kick the ball into touch so an injured player can receive attention.
     
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