Annual General Meeting of The IFAB

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) held its 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Aberdeen, Scotland. The meeting was chaired by the President of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), Alan McRae and was attended by representatives from FIFA and the football associations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Discussions focused on several areas aimed at fine-tuning the Laws for the benefit of the game as well as an assessment of the use of Video Assistant Referees (VARs).

On the topic of defining handball, a decision was taken by The IFAB to provide a more precise and detailed definition for what constitutes handball, in particular with regard to the occasions when a non-deliberate/accidental handball will be penalised. For example a goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity after having gained possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed.

Following experiments in different parts of the world, the AGM also approved changes to the Laws of the Game related to a player being substituted having to leave the field of play at the nearest boundary line, yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials and the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks and defending team free kicks in the penalty area.

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Author: ISRS

Irish Soccer Referees Society, Dublin Branch