IFAB to review rule changes, goal-line technology

The International Football Association Board, the official "guardians of football's Laws of the Game", will discuss various possible amendments to the Laws when the body convenes at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester for its 121st Annual General Meeting on Saturday 3 March. The IFAB is composed of representatives from the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland along with FIFA, with the four British associations holding one vote apiece, while FIFA has four votes. A proposal requires a three-quarter majority (i.e. six of the eight votes) to be approved.

The agenda for this year’s meeting includes FIFA’s proposed revision of Law 4 to prohibit players from displaying political, religious or personal statements on their equipment, with transgressions to be handled by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. This code applies to every match and competition organised by FIFA. Beyond this scope, it also applies if a match offi cial is harmed, if the basic compulsory equipment of a player contains political, religious or personal slogans, and, more generally, if the statutory objectives of FIFA are breached, especially with regard to forgery, corruption and doping.

A further submission from the world governing body proposes that a yellow card be shown to any player who covers his or her face with a mask while celebrating a goal. This proposed amendment was motivated by the potentially increasingly common practice of players wearing masks during matches, which could tarnish the image of the game.

Among the items for discussion are protocol for dealing with injured players, rhe Adidas/Cairos new goal-line ball technology, Italian Football Federation new goal-line technology, FA Premier League new goal-line technology, pitch side monitors, video evidence,sanctions to be imposed on any player who intentionally strikes an opponent with a ‘flying elbow’ and the colour of artificial pitches.