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A foul in sport is when a player commits an offence, unfair, or inappropriate act that is deemed punishable by a referee or governing body.
A majority of sports have a method of committing a foul, but football is a prime example. Most fouls occur when a player either dives to gain a free-kick or penalty, commits a dangerous or high tackle, or is holding a player’s shirt when a ball is played, but there are other infractions in the Laws of the game.
It is quite common for a player to receive a warning from a match official sometimes in the form of a card (soccer) or a Sin Bin (rugby – a temporary ban from the field of play).
The worst-case scenario of a foul in football is a player receiving a red card and being sent off from the pitch and will often receive a suspension from the next game.
Traditionally, foul markets come in the form of card markets when it comes in football betting.
Betting on the number of cards in a match is a common occurrence in football – for example, a bet could be placed on a football match between Manchester United and Liverpool as a correct number market.
Also, a red card in the match for a serious or series of fouls by a player is a market offered by nearly all bookmakers and comes in a simple yes/no option.
A foul is not just limited to football but is present in all sports, such as a foul shot in golf or a personal foul in basketball.
However, not all sports allow for markets on fouls, though a no ball in cricket is an infraction of a different kind on which bets can be placed.
During the 2017-18 football Premier League season, Crystal Palace’s Serbian star Luka Milivojevic committed the most fouls throughout the whole campaign with 69.
That is five more than the second highest from Ghana’s Jordan Ayew with 63.