Skip to main content

Meaning of GA, GF, GD, and Other Common Football Abbreviations

Fredrick is a freelance sports writer and soccer analyst. He specializes in football news and after-match analysis for sports portals.

Football can be challenging to understand if you don't know the acronyms and abbreviations.

Football can be challenging to understand if you don't know the acronyms and abbreviations.

Understanding Football

According to my own observations, most soccer enthusiasts find it hard to understand football abbreviations and acronyms, especially the ones found in soccer league and World Cup tables. Almost all new football fans cannot understand the tables fully without consulting experienced soccer fans or getting assistance from the Internet.

This article is about football abbreviations and acronyms and what they stand for. Read on to know the full meaning of GA, GF, GD, MP, FC, FIFA, Caps, Apps, VAR, and other terms.

Examples Of Football League Tables

Examples Of Football League Tables

What Does GA, GF, GD, and MP Mean in Football?

In brief, GA, GF, GD, and MP stand for Goals Against, Goals For, Goal Difference, and Matches Played respectively. Other common terms like Apps and Caps mean Appearances (both), which are the number of times a player has played for their country (or club) or participated in a competition.

Soccer Table Abbreviations and Their Meaning

  • P, Pld – Played (i.e., number of matches or games played by a team).
  • MP – Matches Played (sometimes used in place of P, Pld).
  • W – Won (i.e., number of matches won).
  • D – Draw (i.e., number of times a team has finished a match with an even score or tie).
  • L – Loss (i.e., number of matches lost).
  • GS – Goals Scored
  • F, GF – Goals For (sometimes used in place of GS).
  • A, GA – Goals Against (i.e., number of goals conceded by a team).
  • GD – Goal Difference (i.e., difference between GF and GA, and sometimes denoted by F/A or +/-). According to the tables above, team B would win under the goal difference criterion.
  • PD – Points Difference (i.e., difference between GF and GA, and sometimes used in place of GD).
  • GAvg – Goal Average (i.e., GF divided by GA). According to the tables above, team A would win under the goal average criterion.
  • GR – Goal Ratio (i.e., GF divided by GA, and sometimes used in place of GAvg).
  • NP – Not played.
  • NR – Next round.
  • TB – Tiebreaker (i.e., what separates two teams with similar points).
  • FPP – Fair Play Points (i.e., points derived from yellow or red cards and penalties).
  • Pos – Position (sometimes denoted by #).
  • Pts – Points (i.e., total number of points earned by a team after playing a certain number of games). A team is awarded 3 points after winning a match or one point if the game ends as a draw or tie.
  • Last 5 – Results of the last five matches played by a team.

Brief Analysis of a Football League Table

Teams belonging to a certain league are ranked based on their total number of points and goal difference. This means that the team at the top of the table has the highest number of points while the team at the bottom has the lowest number of points.

If two teams have the same number of points, they are ranked based on the goal difference. The team with a superior goal difference is ranked on top of the other. If it happens that the two teams have the same number of points and same goal difference, the goals for (GF) or head-to-head performance is used to separate the two teams. Concerning the head-to-head performance, the team that scored more goals when the two teams met (home and away) gets a higher ranking.

In case you are new to football leagues, most leagues feature 10-20 teams. Considering the English Premier League has 20 member clubs, each team has to play 38 games (home and away matches) before the season ends. The total number of games played in the league per season is 380 and the maximum number of points a team can earn is 114.

2016-2017 EPL Table - Final Standings

2016-2017 EPL Table - Final Standings

The table above shows Chelsea Football Club as the winners of the 2016/2017 English Premier League title. They finished the season with 93 points having won 30 matches, drawn three, and lost five. They scored 85 goals and conceded 33 which gave a goal difference of 52.

At the bottom side, Sunderland Football Club finished with 24 points after winning only six games, drawing six, and losing as many as 26. Their GF, GA, and GD were 29, 69, and -40 respectively.

In most leagues, the last three teams are relegated to a lower league division and are replaced by the top three teams from the lower division. For example, Sunderland FC, Middleborough FC, and Hull City FC were relegated and replaced by Newcastle FC, Brighton FC, and Huddersfield Town FC (play-offs winners) from the EFL Championship division.

The top teams in the major leagues qualify for major competitions. For example, Chelsea FC, Tottenham FC, Manchester City FC, and Liverpool FC qualified for the 2017/2018 European Champions League. The fifth, sixth, and seventh placed teams, which were Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, and Everton, qualified for the Europa League, but Man United FC qualified for the Champions League after winning the 2016/2017 Europa League.

Association Football Plays and Technique Abbreviations and Acronyms

M – Marker (i.e., man-to-man coverage).V – Volley (i.e., mid-air kick).BH – Back Heel (i.e., when the ball is kicked using heel).

BK – Bicycle Kick (i.e., kicking the ball backward over the head).

Ca – Counterattack

CK – Corner Kick

DR – Dummy Run (i.e., running without the ball).

FK – Free Kick

GG – Give and Go (also denoted by 1-2).

In – Inswinger (i.e., curving kick).

OT – Offside Trap (i.e., putting attacking players in an offside position).

OG – Own Goal

OS – Out Swinger (i.e., kick that moves away from the goal).

PK – Penalty Kick

ST – Sliding Tackle

TI – Throw In

ZD – Zone Defense (i.e., area occupied by defenders).

BTB – Bending the Ball (i.e., causing the ball to follow a curved path).

MMM – Man-to-Man Marking

OTP – One-Touch Pass

TTB – Trapping the Ball (i.e., controlling the ball).

DRM – Dead Rubber Match (match in a series where the series result has already been decided)

Player and Team Member Abbreviations

N – NeutralAC – Assistant CoachAF – Advanced Forward

BC – Ball Carrier (i.e., player possessing the ball).

CD – Central Defender

CM – Central Midfielder

GT – Goaltender (i.e., goalkeeper).

LM – Linesman (i.e., assistance referee).

RB – Right-Back

TM – Target Man

CPT – Captain

DMf – Defensive Midfielder

HMf – Holding Midfielder (i.e., player who plays in the front of the central defenders).

BTBMf – Box-to-Box Midfielder

U – UnofficialAD – Away DrawAL – Away Loss

AT – Added Time

AW – Away Win

BS – Beach Soccer

DB – Dead Ball (i.e., when there is no play and the ball isn't moving).

ET – Extra Time

Fr – Friendly

DH – Double Header (i.e., two games played between the same two teams on the same day).

Ko – Kickoff (i.e., starting of the game), Knockout (i.e., stage of a competition like round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals or final)

NT – National Team

HA – Home and Away

QF – Quarter-Final

SF – Semi-Final

PR - Positions Roles

WC – World Cup

AET – After Extra Time

TO – Timeout

DFK – Direct Free Kick

DEF – Defense

BIP – Ball In Play (i.e., when the ball is within the playing field).

HTH – Head-to-Head

IFK – Indirect Free Kick

FFB – Fifty-Fifty Ball (i.e., when opposing players cause equal impact on each other when going for the ball).

OTM – Overtime Minutes

OFF – Offside

PSO – Penalty Shootout

RUP – Runners-up (i.e., teams that finish in the second and third positions).

Sub – Substitution

TBD – To be decided (i.e., unknown teams to play in the next stage of a competition)

BOOP – Ball Out Of Play (i.e., when the ball is out of the playing field).

Disc – Discipline

Mins – Minutes

Soccer Stats Abbreviations

AP – Attack PowerAS – Aggregate Score (i.e., sum of home and away goals).Av – Average

LT – Livescore Table

PG – Penalty Kick Goals

PT – Prediction Table

SA – Save Average

SG – Shots on Goal

Sh – Shots

SR – Save Ratio

TS – Top Scorer

App (Apps) – Appearances (i.e., number of times a player appears for matches in a competition).

Blk – Blocked (i.e., Blocked shots).

FFS – Fair Play System (i.e., system checking on yellow or red cards and penalties given)

FSL – Football Scoring List

FTS – Failed to Score

GAA – Goals Allowed Average

GWA – Game Winning Assist

GWG – Game Winning Goal

Hat – Hat Trick (also denoted by HT, see above).

OTL – Overtime Losses

OTW – Overtime Wins

MPK – Missed Penalty Kick

Pct – Shooting Percentage (i.e., goals scored per shot on the goal).

PKS – Penalty Kicks Saves

Rsl, Res – Result

SHO – Shutouts (i.e., given to the winning team if the opponents didn't score).

SOG – Shots on Goal

SOT – Shots on Target (sometimes used in place of SOG).

Stl – Steals (i.e., number of times a player has seized a ball from the opponent).

Caps – Appearances (i.e., number of times a player has played for their country).

SPct – Save Shooting Percentage

Stats – Statistics for players or teams like goals and assists.

Other Soccer Abbreviations and Acronyms

  • E - Elimination, Expulsion (i.e., referee uses red card to dismiss players).
  • BW – Blow Whistle
  • EJ – Ejections (i.e., number of red-carded players in a match or league).
  • NG – No Goal
  • RC – Red Card
  • YC – Yellow Card
  • MO – Match Official
  • MR – Match Referee
  • DRC – Direct Red Card
  • IRC – Indirect Red Card
  • TBR – Tiebreaker Rules (i.e., rules to separate two teams with similar achievements)
  • VAR – Video Assistant Referees
  • GL – Goal Line
  • GM – Goal Mouth (i.e., area closest to the goal).
  • TL – Touch Line (i.e., outside edge of the field).
  • J – Jersey
  • Cb – Crossbar (i.e., a bar connecting goalposts).
  • Np – Nearpost (i.e., goalpost nearest the ball).
  • VF – Vanishing Foam (i.e., marker for free kicks).
  • FoP – Field of Play
  • GLT – Goal-Line Technology

Soccer Business Abbreviations

  • SI – Sports Interactive
  • SS – Shirt Sponsor
  • JD – Jersey Designer
  • AM – Assistant Manager
  • FM – Football Manager
  • TD – Team Doctor
  • TF – Transfer Fee (i.e., selling price of a player).
  • TN – Team Name
  • TW – Transfer Window
  • FFP – Financial Fair Play (i.e., regulations that control club expenditure).

Soccer Award Abbreviations

  • CC – Club of the Century
  • DA – Development Award
  • FA – Fan Award
  • FW – FIFPro World11
  • BMC – Best Men's Coach
  • BMP – Best Men's Player
  • BWC – Best Women's Coach
  • BWP – Best Women's Player
  • FPC – Female Player of the Century
  • COTM – Coach of the Month
  • POTC – Player of the Century
  • POTM – Player of the Match, Player of the Month
  • WCDT – World Cup Dream Team
  • WCATM – World Cup All-Time Team
  • WCOTY – World Coach of the Year
  • WPOTY – World Player of the Year

Soccer Abbreviations with Multiple Meanings

A – Away, Attack, Attacker, AssistsB – Back, Boots, Booter (i.e., kicker), Brace (i.e., one player scoring two goals), Box (i.e., rectangular area near the goal), Bench (i.e., area where teams sit during a match)C – Center/Central, Corner, Cross, Coach, Clear (i.e., kick the ball out of the dangerous zone), Caution (i.e., referee uses yellow card to warn players).

D – Defender, Dribble

F – Forward, Foul, Field, Fixtures, Final, Finalist (i.e., team that reaches the last stage of a competition).

G – Goal, Guard, Gloves

H – Home, Header, Head (i.e., kick with head).

I – Inside, Injury

K – Kick, Kicker

O – Outside, Offside, Obstruction (i.e., blocking opponent).

P – Penalty, Pitch, Period, Promotion, Possession, Punt (i.e., long pass towering in the air).

R – Right, Referee, Relegation

S – Suspension, Sponsor, Stands, Standings, Shot, Striker, Statistics, Stadium, Save (i.e., done by goalkeeper to avoid conceding), Sweeper (i.e., player who kicks the ball to eliminate threat), Seeding (i.e., getting a first ranking in a tournament draw).

T – Tackle, Ticket, Ties, Time, Tournament

W – Winger, Whistle

AB, AM – Abandoned Match, Armband

AR – Assistant Referee, Advantage Rule (i.e., foul but the game doesn't stop).

BP – Back Pass, Ball Possession

CP – Catches and Punches (i.e., used by goalkeeper on the ball to prevent conceding), Center Spot (i.e., kickoff place at the center of the field).

CS – Community Shield, Clean Sheets (I.e., for goalkeeper when he hasn’t been scored against).

FC – Fouls Committed, Football Club, Football Coach, Center Forward

FP – Far Post (i.e., goalpost furthest from the ball), Football Positions.

FS – Fouls Suffered, Fouls Sustained, Full Squad, Futsal (i.e., indoor football).

FT – Fullback, Full Time

GA – Goal Area, Goals Allowed, Goals Attempted

GK – Goalkeeper, Goal Kick

GP – Games Played, Goal Post

GS – Games Started, Group Stages, Groups Standings, Goal Scorer

HB – Halfback, Hand Ball (i.e., ball coming into contact with the hand which is also an offense).

HT – Half Time, Hat-Trick (i.e., one player scoring three goals).

LB – Left-Back, Loose Ball (i.e., when two opposing players are eligible to get the ball).

Mf – Midfield, Midfielder

PA – Puskás Award, Penalty Kick Attempts

PO – Penalty Spot, Playoff (i.e., stage of a competition like last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals or final)

SB – Score Board, Substitute

SL – Scoreline (i.e., match results being shown on a screen), Sideline (i.e., field border).

SK – Scissor Kick (i.e., kicking the ball forward while jumping up in the air), Spot-Kick (i.e., penalty kick).

TP – Through Pass, Team Physician, Toe Poke (i.e., kicking with the toe).

VS – Versus, Vanishing Spray (i.e., marker for free kicks).

WP – Wide Play, Wide Player (i.e., wingers and fullbacks), Wall-Pass (i.e., give the ball and go).

CF – Center-Forward, Corner Flag (i.e., flags placed at the four corners of the field).

Football Associations' Abbreviations and Acronyms

AP – Amapa (clubs from the Brazilian state).BC – British Championship (i.e., a tournament).D2 – Division 2

FA – The Football Association

FC – Football Club

IL – International League

MC – Major Cup

MT – Major Tournament

VI – Victory International

WI – Wartime International

AFC – Asian Football Confederation

EPL – English Premier League

FPA – Fair Play Award

ICC – International Champions Cup

CAF – Confederation Africaine de Football

CFA – Chinese Football Association

CSA – Canadian Soccer League

CSL – Canadian Soccer League

ECF – European Championship Final (i.e., a tournament).

ECP – European Championship Preliminary (i.e., a competition).

EFL – English Football League

FUR – Football Union of Russia

ICC – International Champions Cup

MSL – Major Soccer League

NCS – National Championship Series

ODP – Olympic Development Program

OFC – Oceania Football Confederation

PDL – Premier Development League

PDL – Professional Development League

PDP – Player Development Program

PLS – Premier League Soccer

PSL – Premier Soccer League

PRO – Professional Referee Organization

SAC – South American Championship (i.e., finals tournament, also known as Copa América).

SPI – Soccer Power Index

TFC – The Football Confederation

TOA – Team Owners Association

TSE – Total Sports Experience

UEL – UEFA Europa League

UCL – UEFA Champions League

USA – United Soccer Association

USC – UEFA Super Cup

USL – United Soccer Leagues

WCF – World Cup Final (i.e., a tournament).

WCP – World Cup Preliminary (i.e., a competition).

WPS – Women’s Professional Soccer

WSF – Women’s Soccer Federation

APSL – American Professional Soccer League

AYSO – American Youth Soccer Organization

CISL – Continental Indoor Soccer League

ECNL – Elite Clubs National League

FCWC – FIFA Club World Cup

FFPS – Fun-Fair-Positive Soccer

FIFA – Fédération International de Football Association

FIRA – Federation of International Robot-soccer Association

ITSF – International Table Soccer Federation

LTPD – Long-Term Player Development

MISL – Major Indoor Soccer League

MUFC – Manchester United Football Club

NASL – North American Soccer League

NCSL – National Capital Soccer League

NPSL – National Professional Soccer League

NWSL – National Women’s Soccer League

SAFA – South African Football Association

UEFA – Union des Associations Européenes de Football

USFA – United States Football Association

USSF – United States Soccer Federation

WISL – World Indoor Soccer League

WPSL – Women’s Premier Soccer League

WUSA – Women’s United Soccer Association

CMISL – Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League

NSCAA – National Soccer Coaches Association of America

USASA – United States Adult Soccer Association

FIFAOC – FIFA Organizing Commitee

CONCACAF – Confederation of North, American and Caribbean Association Football

CONMEBOL – Confederación Sudamericana de Fūtbol

FIFA is the international body that governs football.

FIFA is the international body that governs football.


Abbreviations and acronyms are quite prevalent in the world of FIFA soccer, but these are the most common ones. All countries in the world have sports associations, and all the associations' names are abbreviated. So there are definitely thousands of sports-related abbreviations and acronyms out there.

If you have some soccer abbreviations and synonyms not listed here, you can add them in the comments section below!

See also this article on football referee signals and their meanings.


Questions & Answers

Question: What does FPP mean?

Answer: First-Person Perspective - used in gaming.

Question: Goals Scored(H) or (A) and Goals Conceded(H) or (A) from ESPN FIFA Women's World Cup Performance Stats 2019-20 I can't understand what H and A stand for?

Answer: They mean as follows:

Goals Scored (H/A) - goals scored at home ground/ away ground so far in the season (2019-2020).

Goals Conceded (H/A) - goals conceded at home ground/ away ground so far in the season (2019-2020).

Question: What does "CS" mean on SOCCERSTATS.COM?


These letters have a number of meanings in the world of football abbreviations, but in this case, most likely it means Clean Sheets (especially for goalkeepers).

Question: How many substitutes are allowed in football?

Answer: Three, but there is a new rule that allows a fourth substitute in extra time (the additional 30 minutes). It is now applicable in world cup. I don't know if it will be applicable in league games.

Question: What does it mean that the three teams will be replaced? Will these teams go to other leagues?

Answer: This means that they will go to lower leagues in the same country.

Question: What if a football team won by default, how is that abbreviated?

Answer: It's still going to be W or W/O, W.O (walkover).

Question: What does (H) and (A) mean in ESPN soccer match performance?

Answer: H stands for Home (i.e., playing at the home ground) while A stands for Away (i.e, playing at the opponent's ground).

Question: What does GF Sports stands for?

Answer: This is a sports and entertainment company, with the GF standing for Gary Fuhrman - the founder.

Question: What does "first-person perspective" (FPP) mean?

Answer: In gaming, it means rendering from the viewpoint of the player's character, or in simple terms, playing as if you were looking through the player's eyes.

Question: What's the meaning of AP in a football match?

Answer: Maybe Attack Power or Amapa clubs of Brazil

© 2017 Frederick S Januaries


Hernan on July 29, 2020:

Useful information and clarifications

WALTER OCEN ,LIRA on July 15, 2020:

2 Yrs ago j have seen ur information it very interesting & j agee it can help.

Roy on July 07, 2020:

I m beginner to football ,tqu so much ,very useful article.

Josept on March 04, 2020:

This case is very hard but you learn to me this table is very good learn.I start to beginner study .So,Thank you so much.This table is very perfect article words.Thank Mr.Janurais Saint Fores.

FOliveira on November 15, 2019:

Very usefull article. Thank you.

Ayo Joshua on November 04, 2019:

very helpful information

Abuzaid on September 29, 2019:

Thank you very much for all the help you have provided. on September 22, 2018:

Thanks a lot

Messi on September 22, 2018:


DAB_A_RANCH on June 28, 2018: