Football 101 with Kimberly Wang, Joshua Tan

Now that we’re entering the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup, we’re here to give you a handy dandy guide for those who are still pretending they know what’s going on

Football 101 with Kimberly Wang, Joshua Tan

Videos: Charlene Chong

Once every four years, it seems that football fans you never knew existed will suddenly emerge – these friends (or acquaintances) of yours will wax lyrical about who they think are the best players in the World Cup, how they think teams should improve their formation or strategy, and so on.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting all caught up in the football hype – after all, it’s one way of spending quality time with your loved ones, or to get the adrenaline rushing as unexpected plot twists (read: goals) happen just before a game ends.

Now that we’re done with the group stage (which is in the round robin format) and entering the knockout rounds with our top 16 teams, football fever will reach fever-pitch.

The question remains though: For those who are noobs (mostly those who are uninterested in the game unless it’s the World Cup), we asked the gurus, Kimberly Wang (who has hosted football at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games) and Joshua Tan (who not only knows a lot, but also plays a mean game of football) to explain some commonly used terms in the sport, along with explaining some rules you never thought you needed to know.

WATCH: Football 101: The layman vs professional edition with Kimberly Wang and Joshua Tan!


What does it mean when a goal doesn’t count because it’s offside? In short, a player commits an offside offence when he receives a ball when he is closer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the opposing defenders.

An even shorter explanation, as provided by Kimberly, is that you can’t be in front of the defender when you’re receiving a ball from your teammate. You got this.


Lest you think that this constitutes some kind of yellow card-worthy offence, such as a bunch of players trapping an opponent in a corner – it’s not. Trapping is when a player uses their body (often their chest) to slow the movement of the ball so that they can control it better. There’s one exception though: you can’t use your hands unless you’re the goalkeeper.

Scissors kick

Again, this isn’t some kind of terrible thing that you do to an opponent, such as using your legs to trap him in a headlock (that would probably get you a red card) – it’s simply a movement (also known as a bicycle kick) when a player throws himself up in the air, making a shearing movement with his legs that end up with his legs resembling a pair of scissors.

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