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11 Mind-Blowing Facts You Might Not Know About Football

Better put your helmet on. Metaphorically.

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1. A football field is called a "pitch."

Getty Images/iStockphoto Ig0rZh

2. You are not allowed to use your hands in football. The only exception is the goalie, who may use his or her hands and will often wear protective gloves.

Getty Images/Hemera Jordi Lopez dot

3. FIFA is an acronym for The Fédération Internationale de Football Association. It is the international governing body that oversees professional football.


4. Committing fouls in a football game may result in a "yellow card" — a sort of warning penalty. Two yellow cards results in the player's ejection.


5. A red card (worse than a yellow card) is an immediate ejection from the football game. Your team can't replace you on the field with another player — so watch out for red cards!


6. Football is the most popular sport in the world — partially because it is so inexpensive. All you need is a ball and some relatively flat terrain with agreed upon parameters.

Getty Images Buda Mendes

7. Must a player only use his or her "foot" to move the football? Not necessarily! Players are allowed to move the ball using their knees, chest, back — even their heads!

Female footballer (11-13) heading ball, low angle view
Getty Images Barry Austin

Female footballer (11-13) heading ball, low angle view

8. Football games are comprised of two 45-minute halves with a 15-minute halftime.

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9. There are no timeouts in football, but an official time keeper notes when the ball is not being played — say, immediately after a goal, or as the result of an on-field injury. They may decide to add extra time to the clock at the end of each half.

Getty Images/Hemera Edgaras Kurauskas

10. A football game may be suspended if lightning is seen in the vicinity. This is basic safety.

Getty Images George Frey

11. In the United States, football is sometimes called soccer.

Getty Images Robert Cianflone

Thumbnail: Getty Images/iStockphoto David Lee

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