This question probably arises from fact I was brought being taught as a referee that you could not barge. Re-visiting the game Laws I am still of the same opinion that barging should be penalised, my interpretation is that shoulder to shoulder contact is o.k. Barging to me is when excessive force is used by one player. Every Law ends with that catch all phrase ‘in the opinion of the referee.’
Fouls copied from FIFA.com
Fouls are penalised with a direct free kick, penalty kick or indirect free kick.
Fouls penalised with a direct free kick
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referees to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
- Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
- Trips an opponent
- Jumps at an opponent
- Charges an opponent
- Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
- Pushes an opponent
- Tackles an opponent
A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offences:
- Holds an opponent
- Spits at an opponent
- Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area) A direct free kick is taken from the place where the offence occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick). The above offences are accumulated fouls.