IFAB maintains Additional Assistant Referees experiment
© Foto-net

A Special Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, was today held at the Home of FIFA in Zurich to discuss outstanding proposals regarding the Laws of the Game that were carried over from the 124th Annual General Meeting in March.

A presentation was provided on the experiment with additional assistant referees in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League, following the conclusion of 144 league stage matches and 61 knockout phase fixtures. It was agreed that for a period of two years, FIFA’s six Confederations and 208 Member Associations, subject to agreement from the IFAB, will be able to experiment using Additional Assistant Referees.

FIFA will outline the protocol for this non-compulsory trial in a Circular to the six FIFA Confederations and 208 Member Associations shortly. Authorisation will be given by an IFAB Sub-Committee by the end of July 2010.

The Board approved an amendment proposed by the Scottish Football Association concerning the role of the Fourth Official. The amendment extends the scope of the Fourth Official’s duty to “assist the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The referee however, retains the authority to decide on all points connected with play.”

The Board also approved an amendment in the wording of Law 14 (The Penalty Kick). “Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted, however feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is now considered an infringement of Law 14 and an act of unsporting behaviour for which the player must be cautioned.“

Finally it was agreed that the IFAB will seek the views of players, coaches and match officials following the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ to discuss Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct, which relates to sending-off offences; the so-called "triple sanction".

The decisions concerning the Laws of the Game taken today by the International Football Association Board will come into effect on 1 June 2010.

The 125th Annual General Meeting will take place at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales between 4 and 6 March 2011.