IFAB Meets: VAR Protocols, Referee Abuse, Handball Rule and All Football Laws That Could Be Changed

IFAB Meets: VAR Protocols, Referee Abuse, Handball Rule and All Football Laws That Could Be Changed

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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  • Football lawmakers, IFAB, will meet on November 28 to discuss changes to existing football rules
  • Protection of referees against players' dissent and abuse is set to top the agenda
  • Any changes agreed on will have to be passed at an AGM next year ahead of the 2024/2025 season

The International Football Association Board(IFAB) is set to meet on Tuesday, November 28, to discuss a raft of changes to the existing football laws.

The meeting at Sofitel Hotel in Heathrow is set to go through a couple of issues which, if accepted, will need to be passed formally during the board's Annual General Meeting in March next year.

International Football Association Board(IFAB), Craig Pawson, Handball rules
Premier League referee Craig Pawson awards a penalty during Liverpool's game against Everton on October 21, 2023. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA.
Source: Getty Images

The board is comprised of the FA executives of Britain, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, plus a representative of the world governing body, FIFA. Sports Brief runs you through the agenda they will be discussing as captured on IFAB's website.

1. Handball rule

The board will look into the possibility of punishing an unintentional handball that denies a goal-scoring opportunity(DOGSO) and is only penalised with a yellow card instead of the current sending-off, while an intentional handball that stops a promising attack is not penalised at all.

2. Referee's protection and player abuse

IFAB will also look at ways of protecting the referees from harassment by players and technical benches. One of the changes they will consider is having a 'no-go zone' where only the captain is allowed to address the referee.

As Sports Brief previously reported, the board will also consider introducing a 10-minute sin-bin where players who abuse referees or express dissent are sent off as the game continues.

3. Change of VAR protocols

At the moment, the Video Assistant Referee(VAR) is only used for huge decisions like checking the validity of a goal, possible red card or penalty, etc.

IFAB, together with FIFA, will look into having the technology do more, like enforcing the six-second rule for goalkeepers or the tactical injuries players and managers employ to deliberately waste time and break momentum.

A review led by FIFA will show where modifications are needed on the technology.

4. Concussion substitutes

Players' well-being continues to be a key issue, with the IFAB board set to receive a report on the temporary concussion substitutes. This will, however, take a long time to implement as the current rule of an extra concussion substitute is still in trial.

Additional information from Sky Sports.

What offside technology does the VAR currently use?

Sports Brief has previously reported that officials use Hawkeye virtual offside line technology to arrive at decisions. This is broken down into the gridline and the crosshair.

The former is straightforward, with a line being drawn at the last defender. Any opposing player who is over the line and headed towards the goal is deemed as offside.

But at times, the gridline fails to outrightly differentiate whether the attacking player is in a legal position to play the ball or not - this is when the crosshair is introduced.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)