Sliding tackle

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Sliding tackle performed by the player in black.

A sliding tackle or slide tackle is a tackle in football in which a player attempts to take the ball away from an opposing player by deliberately leaving his feet and sliding along the ground with one leg extended to push the ball away from the opposing player. Sliding tackles can often be sources of controversy, particularly when players being tackled fall down over the tackler's foot (or the ball stopped by the tackler's foot), and penalties, free kicks and cards are assessed (or are conspicuous by their absence).

Commonly associated fouls and misconduct[edit]

A sliding tackle is not in itself foul play, however there are a number of fouls that commonly occur during the execution of a sliding tackle.

Examples of such fouls punishable by a direct free kick or penalty kick include:

  • When a player tackles an opponent to gain possession of the ball, making contact with the opponent before touching the ball[citation needed];
  • When a player in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
    • kicks or attempts to kick an opponent;
    • trips or attempts to trip an opponent;
    • raises his/her football boots perpendicular to the field (colloquially known as "studs up")[citation needed].

Playing in a dangerous manner is punishable by an indirect free kick.

A foul sliding tackle may also constitute misconduct, resulting in either yellow card (caution) or a red card (send off). In particular a tackle "which endangers the safety of an opponent, must be sanctioned as serious foul play" (i.e. the player must be sent off).

Slide tackles from behind or with both legs extended have now been outlawed due to the injury and danger to other players that it causes. These tackles generally earn the player who commits them a straight red card, even if the ball is won cleanly and the tackle is not technically a foul[citation needed].


The slide tackle is attractive to the defender because they allow him or her to cover a larger area of ground while attempting to dispossess an opponent. It is often a "last-ditch" attempt to dispossess an opponent due to frequent misses and the difficulty of recovering in the event the slide tackle fails to take the ball away. After a slide tackle, the tackler is left sitting or lying on the ground with one leg extended. The defender also runs the risk of personal injury. Ideally, the other foot ends up folded underneath their rear end, where it can be used to push the tackler back up to their feet to continue play.

If doing a sliding tackle to the right the player's right leg must be straight when going down into the tackle and their left leg should be bent slightly behind the right one in order to achieve maximum potential in gaining the ball. If doing a sliding tackle to the left the player's left leg must be straight and their right leg should be bent slightly behind the left one in order to achieve maximum potential in gaining the ball.


External links[edit]

"Sliding tackles". BBC Sport - Football. BBC. 2005-09-14. Retrieved 2010-01-04.