The Bureau of the FIFA Council approves update to the Futsal Laws of the Game
Some adjustments reflect law changes in football
COVID-19 affected competitions can be completed in accordance with old or new rules
On 8 April 2020, the Bureau of the FIFA Council approved an update to the Futsal Laws of the Game. The latest rules form the 2020/21 edition and came into force on 1 June 2020. You can find the most important changes here.
Several of the adjustments reflect recent law changes in football. Competitions interrupted by COVID-19 can be completed in accordance with either the previous Futsal Laws of the Game or the new edition for 2020/21. Any friendly or warm-up games played prior to the resumption of a competition are permitted to use the laws that will be applied when the competition restarts, even if these warm-up matches take place after 1 June 2020.
Women’s futsal is no longer considered as a separate category but instead has the same status as the men’s game. Meanwhile the new laws provide numerous flexible organisational options for futsal competitions involving youth players, older players, players with disabilities and at grassroots level. For example, goal sizes, pitch sizes, ball type, playing time and goalkeeper throws beyond the halfway line can also be adjusted to suit local circumstances and needs, as well as to promote creative futsal and the technical development of players.
Kick-offs have been changed to mirror football, with all players apart from the kick-off taker required to stay in their own half. Each team will now take five shots instead of three when taking penalties to determine the winner of a match. The latest version of the rules also stipulates that five players from each team can warm up at the same time.
The Laws of the Game relating to referees have also been adjusted to ensure that they can now take more effective action against team officials who conduct themselves inappropriately.
The defending goalkeeper in futsal must now have some part of one foot touching or in line with the goal line until the ball is struck when facing a penalty. Anyone who impedes a penalty taker must now be cautioned even if they have maintained the minimum distance of five metres. From now on a caution will also be issued if this happens during free-kicks.
As in football, the ball is in play during a goal kick when the goalkeeper releases and clearly moves the ball. Opponents may only enter the penalty area once the ball is in play. However, the four-second rule also continues to apply here.