IFAB Rule Changes

May 21, 2016


The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has published changes to the laws of the game for the 2016/17 season.

To view the entire 206 page IFAB Laws of the Game booklet:-  Click Here

The most notable altering sending-off offences inside the penalty area and England are set to trial them in their pre-Euro 2016 friendlies.

The previous ‘triple-punishment’ rule meant that a player who denied a goal-scoring opportunity was automatically red-carded and handed a suspension, as well as giving away a penalty.

However, the law has now changed so that players committing accidental fouls, that deny a goal-scoring opportunity, are not automatically sent off, but cautioned instead.

Players will still be sent off for holding, pulling or pushing, not playing the ball or having no possibility to play the ball, serious foul play, violent conduct or deliberate handball.

Referees’ powers have also been extended so that they can send off a player before kick-off, from the official’s pre-match pitch inspection onwards.

The new laws also state the ball will be able to move in any direction from kick-off, rather than only move forward.

Players who are injured by a challenge punishable by a yellow or red card can now have quick treatment on the field, rather than having to leave, which previously gave the offending team temporary numerical advantage.

The IFAB announced last month their intentions to change the laws following a comprehensive, 18-month review.

The game’s law-making body also unanimously approved the revision, which they identified as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to address anomalies and inconsistencies in the laws.

The changes come into effect on June 1 2016.


However, the FA has agreed with their Turkish, Australian and Portuguese counterparts to use them in their friendlies on May 22, May 27 and June 2 respectively.

Meanwhile, the IFAB has also approved a two-year trial period of video technology to assist referees, to be used in four cases:

to determine if a goal has been scored,  

red cards,  

penalties, and 

mistaken identity.

To find out more about these issues:-  Click Here

Tests initially will be in private before moving to a live pilot phase with replay assistance by the 2017/18 season at the latest, the IFAB decided last month.

Thirteen countries had been interested in piloting the scheme, including England and Scotland.

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