Football’s new rules

In February, the International Football Association Board (IFAB)FIFA‘s governing body, approved the new regulations which will apply from July 1, pending, of course, the progress of events or the start of the new season.

They have been official since Wednesday, but what is striking is what is on the way, which is nothing other than the desire to modify the offside rule in a ‘desire to encourage attacking football and the scoring of goals’.

Moreover, the IFAB is trying to find a formula to end mass gatherings around the referee.

The star debate at the 134th assembly in Belfast revolved around handballs.

The IFAB wants to make clear that what is considered a handball is any ball that touches under the armpit. From there come the interpretations that have also received a new reordering.

“If a player touches the ball with his hand accidentally, it will only be considered an offence if the play ends in a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity,” it read.

“If the play is prolonged and there are several touches, the handball will not be considered a foul.”

More visits to the VAR monitor

The rules regarding the VAR will also take a turn and referees will be urged to go more to review the play at the monitor on the side of the pitch, as “often it is due to subjective issues and where the force used is in question.”

The video assistant referee is allowed to advise the main referee on this, describing what he sees, but it is always the main referee who makes the final decision, although he can give his version. As far as obvious errors are concerned, nothing changes.

If play has not stopped, the referee shall stop play as soon as the ball is in a neutral zone or situation (normally when neither team is attacking) and then make the ‘TV signal’. It is insisted that the dialogues in the VAR room are not made public.

Penalties and penalty shootouts

If the goalkeeper breaks the rules when a penalty kick is taken and the ball does not go in or bounces off the crossbar or the posts, the goalkeeper shall not be penalised unless his action clearly influences the player taking the penalty.

Most of the cases where the goalkeeper goes forward are the result of a failure to anticipate when the ball will be hit. For this reason, he shall not be cautioned after the first offence, but only in the event of a repeat offence, both if the penalty is taken and in subsequent attempts.

If both a goalkeeper and a penalty taker commit an offence simultaneously (a highly unlikely circumstance), it is understood that the offence of the former is usually caused by an anti-regulatory feint of the latter, and the penalty taker would therefore be penalised.

Warnings received during the match will not be taken into account in penalty shootouts.


If the referee gives an advantage when an offence is committed that was intended to prevent an obvious goalscoring opportunity, the red card becomes a yellow card; similarly, if the referee gives an advantage after an offence that interferes with or ends up interfering with a clear attacking play is committed, the yellow card is not shown.

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