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 Post subject: Football Rule Changes
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 12:30 pm 
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The international football association board has amended the 100+ year old set of rules by which we all adhere to.

This article is copied and pasted from The Times / Sunday Times, written by Henry Winter. (subscription required)

Great read - very interesting.

Henry Winter: Messi could be a victim of biggest overhaul of football’s laws

Concerned officials at the International FA Board have sliced through the Laws of the Game, a tome first penned in Victorian ink. They have slashed almost 10,000 of the 22,600 words, tightening and tweaking 95 rules, essentially seeking to simplify and clarify but unwittingly causing more fevered debate.

Changes in the laws range from the laughable (hem colours) to the significant (a yellow card, rather than red for a foul in the box when attempting to play the ball and denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity) to the controversial (sending off players before kick-off).

Good luck to the referee who cautions Messi and chalks off a successful penalty at the Nou Camp
The mammoth makeover undertaken by David Elleray, the technical director of IFAB, is to be welcomed. The laws were full of anachronisms, sub-clauses and cobwebs. “The laws had not kept pace with modern football,” Elleray, speaking at Wembley yesterday, said. “They were written when football was played by gentlemen who were not expected to break the laws of the game. Thirty, forty years ago being sent off was a disgrace.” A red card is deemed an occupational hazard now.

In revising the laws, Elleray called on the wisdom and experience of two new IFAB advisory panels, one involving ex-referees and the other made up of former footballers and managers. The new laws come into force worldwide from June 1, although the FA has dispensation for using them in the friendlies against Turkey at the Etihad on May 22, and Australia at the Stadium of Light on May 27. Elleray will talk Roy Hodgson’s squad through the changes.

England’s three goalkeepers, Joe Hart, Fraser Forster and Tom Heaton, will be particularly interested in the new law that “if a player commits a Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity offence inside the penalty area it will now be a yellow card if the foul was an attempt to play the ball or challenge an opponent for the ball”.


Elleray showed footage from 2014 of Arsenal’s then keeper, Wojciech Szczesny, rushing out, attempting to get the ball at the feet of Galatasaray’s Burak Yilmaz. Szczesny brought down Yilmaz, conceded a penalty and was sent off. This would now be a yellow-card offence because of the clear attempt to play the ball. IFAB argues that a goalscoring opportunity has been restored with the award of a penalty. The old triple punishment of dismissal, penalty and ban was deemed excessive.

Elleray believes that the penalty count “may go up” because referees are more likely to give decisions knowing the outcome is less draconian now. Elleray acknowledged that goalkeepers may come out more forcefully now, knowing only a yellow card is at risk, not expulsion. “This is a two-year experiment worldwide,” he emphasised. Laws evolve. Red cards will still be administered for “handball; holding, pulling or pushing; not attempting to play the ball; not having the chance to play the ball; serious foul challenges, violent conduct etc”. On the latter point, the FA expects more claims for wrongful dismissals, with clubs contesting the force of the challenge. The new law that “attempted violence is a red card even if no contact is made” could also trigger some appeals.

Given that IFAB stresses that “holding, pulling or pushing” remain a red, there needs to be consistency of referees in implementing this. Leicester City were enraged when Jon Moss decided to penalise Wes Morgan for grappling with West Ham’s Winston Reid when the offence goes on unchecked elsewhere. While the new Denial of an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity law is admirable, the old ones also need applying. Simulation and dissent are major issues for Elleray and his law men to confront. They should also end the continued pettiness that demands a goalscorer be cautioned for removing his shirt in celebration.

Elleray’s 14,500-word opus makes fascinating reading. Red cards can now be given to players fighting in the tunnel before kick-off (although they would be replaced so teams start 11 apiece). “If Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira had become an almighty punch-up in the tunnel (in 2005), Graham Poll could now have sent them off under the new laws,’’ said Elleray. “For the image of the game, you wouldn’t want them to play.” Each would receive a minimum three-match ban.

Cynics would fear the (slim) possibility of a less scrupulous manager sacrificing an expendable player, instructing him to pick a fight with the opponents’ star during the warm-up or in the tunnel, getting both sent off.

Penalty-taking has also come under the decision-makers’ scrutiny. Elleray showed footage of Lionel Messi feinting during the run-up, deceiving the keeper, and converting. “If the kicker stops and ‘feints’ at the end of their run it will always be an indirect free-kick and yellow card even if they score (ie no retake),” read the revised laws. Good luck to the referee who cautions Messi and chalks off a successful penalty at the Nou Camp. Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and Mario Balotelli are also at risk.

Elleray points out that “you are allowed a stuttering run”. Yet surely the advantage should lie with the victim, ie the team sinned against. Feinting, a legitimate weapon when running through one-on-one with a keeper, should be allowed. The frustration is that the change affects the most skilful and audacious, those like Messi and Ronaldo who love outwitting a keeper. One excellent revision involves keepers who move early being cautioned (as well as having the kick retaken if required).

Szczesny is shown a red card and concedes a penalty after bringing down Yilmaz, of Galatasaray, while attempting to play the ball. This would be a yellow-card offence under the new regulations
GRAHAM HUGHES FOR THE TIMES
Penalty shoot-outs have been updated with one notable amendment: “a kick is completed/over when the ball stops moving”. This clarification comes after a Moroccan Cup tie ended in farce in 2010 when the FAR Rabat keeper, Khalid Askri, saved the key Maghreb Fez kick, ran off celebrating and the loose ball spun back over the line. The goal was awarded.

Of the offside changes, one has recent resonance. Villarreal appealed for offside against Liverpool’s Adam Lallana at Anfield but he was played onside by Mateo Musacchio, who had slid off the pitch when challenging Roberto Firmino. Danny Simpson appealed for offside against Chelsea but Danny Drinkwater was behind the goal, having fallen over the dead-ball line after chasing Oscar. Musacchio and Drinkwater were both deemed on the goal-line, so playing attackers on, but their “active” status would now be deemed for only one phase of play.

The amended regulations decree that “if a player is injured by a foul which results in a red card or yellow card for the opponent, the injured player can have quick assessment or treatment on the field and not have to go off”. Elleray defined “quick” as “20 seconds”; any longer, and the player has to go off. IFAB should surely consider the rugby way of treating a player while the game continues.

There are some sartorial amendments, namely that “undershorts” must be the same colour of the shorts “or the hem”. Manchester City players can now choose green or black undershorts when wearing the third kit to make sure they get the match of the day.


Referees in grass-roots football
are being encouraged to “use your common-sense” to get games played and not call them off if “there are only three corner-flags, the goalposts are not white or there are minor inaccuracies on (painting) the line”. Sensible.

Made up of four representatives of the home nations and a quartet of appointments from other countries, IFAB prides itself on its history, celebrating its 130th birthday on June 2, and also its independence. “It’s not a Fifa sub-committee as one former Fifa president thought,” said Elleray. IFAB always seemed embroiled in politics when Sepp Blatter was around. The new Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, is far more collegiate. “He’s more sympathetic,’’ said Elleray.

IFAB should become more assertive, improving the game. Video technology is coming. Next week, the FA joins the Dutch, the Italians and 13 other like-minded associations countries at a workshop in Amsterdam to consider when to go “live” with trials. It could be as soon as the later stages of next season’s FA Cup. A fourth sub in extra time will also be trialled.

“One of the main things we are going to look at next is handballs,’’ added Elleray. The expectation is that incidents like Luis Suárez’s handball on the Uruguay line against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final will be punished with a penalty goal. The law men are beginning to get tough.

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