FIFA consolidates the five changes per match introduced during the pandemic

The body in charge of defining the rules of world football, the IFAB (International Football Association Board), has defined this Monday the new changes that the international regulations will collect from next July 1. In a meeting held in Doha (Qatar), the venue for the 2022 World Cup, the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, and the chief referee of the highest international body, Pierluigi Collina, have confirmed that the rule of five substitutions per match , temporarily established in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be permanent from now on.

IFAB members have also decided to increase the maximum number of substitutes in official matches. In this way, the teams will be able to have 15 players on the bench, instead of 12. Thus, the calls are extended to 26 players.

The IFAB is also studying the incorporation of extra changes for cases in which a footballer is forced to leave the field of play due to a concussion. For now, the testing period, in which more than 140 leagues participate, will last until August 2023. The members of the organization have assured this Monday that they do not want to rush, since they intend to collect enough data “to make a scientific decision valid” about it.

Another of the new changes included in the regulation is the position of the goalkeepers in penalty shots. Until now, goalkeepers could take any position they wanted as long as they kept at least one foot on the goal line. Always watched under a magnifying glass, goalkeepers must now keep both feet on the line, without exception.

Footballers from Wales and Belgium are substituted in the duel between the two teams last Saturday in Cardiff.
Footballers from Wales and Belgium are substituted in the duel between the two teams last Saturday in Cardiff.JOHN SIBLEY (Action Images via Reuters)

Other possible additions to the regulations were also assessed at the meeting, such as explaining certain arbitration decisions during the match, improving the actual playing time of the matches and, of course, the punishability of hands. These and other trials require permission to go ahead, but FIFA and the IFAB have already confirmed that they will be supervised.

Artificial intelligence comes to football

Another of the most discussed topics this Monday has been the functionality of video arbitration. The IFAB has confirmed that the semi-automatic VAR, which premiered at the Club World Cup held last February in the United Arab Emirates, is still undergoing testing, although everything indicates that it will be ready for the Qatar World Cup that begins in November. .

With this tool, FIFA’s intention is to reduce the time it takes to measure the position of any player and, with the help of artificial intelligence and 3D technology, speed up referees’ decision-making when judging an offside.

After Monday’s meeting, Gianni Infantino acknowledged that the tests of the tool are very promising: “Our experts are assessing everything before we make a decision for the World Cup.” Pierluigi Collina, for his part, has been very confident about it: “I have high hopes for this tool. With her, our decisions have been more accurate and have been made in less time”.

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