Friday 10 June 2016

New IFAB Football Laws On Show In France

Football's new laws will be put to their first major test when Euro 2016 kicks off in France. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) drew up 95 changes earlier this year and the new rulebook officially came into effect on June 1.

England's warm-up games against Turkey, Australia and Portugal were played according to the fresh guidelines but this summer's tournament - which begins on Friday when hosts France take on Romania - will see them under scrutiny across the globe for the first time.  The most significant change removes the so-called 'triple punishment' in place for the denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity, where a player and team could have been hit with a penalty, red card and subsequent suspension.

It is no longer an automatic red card if a player or goalkeeper brings down an opponent while acting as the last line of defence; where a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball, officials will be allowed to give a penalty and only book the offender. But deliberate fouls - including holding, pulling or pushing, not playing the ball, serious foul play, violent conduct or deliberate handball in order to deny a goalscoring opportunity - will still result in dismissal.

Among the other changes approved by IFAB and based, the lawmakers say, on "common sense", teams no longer must send the ball forward at kick-off; only one player is now required to stand in the centre circle and can subsequently pass in any direction. Free-kicks after an offside incident will be taken from where a player first touched the ball in that offside position, rather than where he was originally standing when offside. And players also no longer have to leave the field if they receive treatment following a yellow or red-card offence - a rule that previously granted the offending team a numerical advantage.

Players can be sent off before the start of play - for an incident in the tunnel, for example, but could in that instance be replaced by a substitute. A yellow card will be shown to goalkeepers who move early off their line while facing a penalty, the IFAB has decided, and takers feigning to shoot in their run-up in obvious cases of deception will be booked with no re-take allowed. Players can also be charged with violent conduct even if no contact is made with an opponent.

Former Premier league referee David Elleray, leader of the IFAB technical sub-committee charged with re-writing the Laws of the Game sees Euro 2016 as a chance to educate the world. He said “The use of the revised new Laws of the Game for Euro 2016 is fantastic from an IFAB point of view because this will showcase and help educate the world on what the changes are. This is a fantastic opportunity to show the world what the changes are, to help us educate referees”.
The competition will also mark the first time that goal-line technology will be used for a full UEFA tournament. 


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