What the ‘D’ on the edge of the penalty area is for in football explained | The Sun

SOME football fans are only just realising what the “D” on the edge of the penalty is for.

Thousands of matches, from Premier League all the way down to Sunday League, take place across the UK each and every week.

Literally millions of players pull on the boots up and down the country to play the beautiful game.

And with countless millions more tuning in to watch the nation’s favourite sport, most would assume that they knew all of the rules.

However, football supporters and players may look a little perplexed if you asked them why the “D” was on the edge of the 18-yard box.

Well, if you are scratching your head, then fear not – Sun Sport has you covered.


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Despite the Laws of the Game being changed on an almost yearly basis and the much-maligned VAR continuing to dominate headlines, the long-standing presence of the “D” still remains.

But what is the exact purpose of it?

The curved “D” shape has a radius of ten yards and is in the arc of a circle and centred on the penalty spot, which is 12 yards from goal.

As many are familiar with, only the taker and opposition goalkeeper (who must stay on his line until the ball is struck) are allowed inside the area when a spot-kick is being taken.

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Every other player on the pitch must be outside of the box and also be at least ten yards away.

To help the referee enforce this rule and ensure that there is no encroachment, the “D” was introduced.

It marks the area of the pitch outside the box which is closer to the penalty spot than 10 yards.

And that means that no player must encroach it before a spot-kick is taken.

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