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When can a free-kick be taken quickly?
Around the Academy:

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry celebrates his goal against Chelsea
Thierry Henry scored from a quickly taken free-kick for Arsenal against Chelsea on Sunday.

As Chelsea 'keeper Petr Cech lined up his wall, Henry took the free-kick and scored.

And in theory every free-kick can be taken quickly and it's not the first time that Henry has taken advantage.

The Academy spoke to Premiership referee Graham Poll last season after a similar Henry strike against Aston Villa and he explained the ruling.

First you have to deal with the principle of a free-kick.

If the attacking team are fouled then it is they who hold the advantage.

With a free-kick around the penalty area, we always ask the players whether they want it quick or slow.

This is their window of opportunity to surprise the defence.

Thierry Henry scores in a 2-0 win over Aston Villa last January
Henry scored the same way against Villa last season

If they want it quick, then they have given up the right to re-take it, no matter if it hits a defender who's three yards away.

The same goes if they kick it over the bar. They only get one chance.

The flip side is if they want it slow, they can't then take it while I count out the ten yards for the wall.

They must wait for my whistle.

There is nothing in the laws of the game that say we have to indicate for the free-kick to be taken.

It's just like when someone wants to take a free-kick anywhere else on the field.

As long as the ball is stationary and in the right place then the attacking team can take it as quickly as they like.

Open Quote
You get some for you and some against you but that's how football works. We feel a bit hard done by this time
Close Quote
Eidur Gudjohnsen
Chelsea striker

Open Quote
Graham Poll said to me: 'Do I want it or do I want to wait for the whistle?' I said: "I want it." I was just waiting for Eidur Gudjohnsen to get out of the way
Close Quote
Thierry Henry
Arsenal striker

:: The rules on indirect free-kicks
:: The rules on direct free-kicks

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