An obstruction is considered an illegal defensive technique in football. A defensive player usually positions their body between the ball and the attacking player to block the opponent from reaching the ball. This happens when the defensive player loses control of the ball.

Obstruction is considered an illegal play of the player. However, if the player has control of the ball and uses his body to block the opponent from claiming it, then it is allowed. This technique is commonly known as shielding.

Reasons for Obstruction

The main reason why a defensive player performs obstruction is that they do not want their opponent to gain control of the ball. Despite the technique deemed as illegal, as long as it prevents the other team from taking advantage of such an opportunity, the player would still perform it. Other reasons could be that the other team is already leading, and the defensive player does not want them to score another goal. As a result, they would perform underhanded techniques so that the opponent will not gain control of the ball.

Results for Obstruction

If a defensive player is penalized for obstruction, the opposing team would be awarded an indirect free-kick. Under the Laws of the Game, an indirect free-kick is awarded if a player plays dangerously. Putting himself between the ball and the opponent is considered dangerous play, as the possibility of injury to someone including the player himself, is not advisable. If the player continuously plays this illegal defensive technique, the referee might be forced to take disciplinary action. The worst-case scenario is that the defensive player might not only receive either a yellow or red card but might be send-off from the game.

Preventing Obstruction

In football, the players use a different technique to score a goal while at the same time trying to defend their post from the other team. With the right technique and good communication within the team, using obstruction as a countermeasure can be avoided. If you lose the ball, do the best to your ability to claim it back without having to resort to illegal techniques.

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