At its Annual General Meeting today in Gleneagles, Scotland, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has decided to put on ice goal-line technology and to stop tests in this area until further notice. Amongst others, the questions of the human aspect of the game, the universality of the Laws of the Game, as well as the simplicity and efficiency of the technology were taken into consideration.
However, the IFAB has approved a proposal from FIFA to conduct an experiment involving two additional assistant referees who will mainly focus on fouls and misconduct in the penalty area. The competition in which this test will be conducted will be decided at a later stage.
The Board also discussed a proposal from the Scottish FA regarding the use of video evidence to sanction simulation after the game. Although the suggestion was not approved, the IFAB members agreed that simulation is an act of cheating which must be intensively fought and sanctioned during the game and that all member associations would be encouraged to do so.
Furthermore, a proposal submitted by the FA and called Fair Play Convention, aimed at dealing with injured players while the game is in progress ,was acknowledged but not approved, mainly on the grounds that fair-play is an instinct behaviour rather than an attitude to rule.
Regarding the Laws of the Game, the IFAB approved the following amendments:
Law 1 - The Field of Play
In order to standardize the size of the football pitch for A international matches, the IFAB has decided to set a fixed size of 105m long and 68m wide (instead of a minimum and maximum length - from 100m to 110m - and a minimum and a maximum width - from 64m to 75m - as mentioned in the present text).
Law 2 - The Ball
Within the FIFA Quality Concept for footballs, the IFAB has agreed that the new 'FIFA APPROVED', 'FIFA INSPECTED' and 'International Matchball Standard' logos, which were launched in May 2007, will replace the former logos displayed in the present text.
Revision of the Laws of the Game
The last major revision of the text of the Laws of the Game was one 11 years ago. Since then, many additions and amendments have been made to the Laws themselves and various publications as well as teaching materials have been produced. As a result, a further revision was overdue. The IFAB has approved the revision which contains no major change in content but simplifies the wording of the Laws.
On other business, it's been agreed that a discussion about the look and design of the ball will be submitted to the agenda of the next sub-committee meeting.
Also, as it already did last year, the Board stressed that people in the technical areas should have no access and view to pitch-side monitors.
Finally, the FIFA President made a strong appeal against violent tackles on the field of play, reiterating that "players committing such acts should be banned".
The123rd Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board will take place next year in Northern Ireland.
The International F.A. Board, the custodian of the Laws of the Game, is composed of The Football Association (England), The Scottish Football Association, The Football Association of Wales, The Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland) and FIFA. Representing its 204 other members, FIFA has four votes on the body, while the four British associations have one vote apiece. A proposal requires a three-quarter majority (i.e. six of the eight votes) to be passed.