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Rule changes: What you need to know

The world game is set for an almighty shake up, with some new rule changes set to take place in the near future.

Some tweaks to different interpretations is hoped to deliver a better game going forward.

From June 1 2019, the changes will be implemented as league competitions for the 2019-20 season start. It has been approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Some of the main changes are outlined below:

No attacking players in the wall for free-kicks:

Each time a free-kick is taken from close range or distance, only players from the defending team are allowed to be part of the wall.

The whole idea of having just a single team form the wall is that there won’t be any time wasted for push and shove which can escalate and waste some time.

If an attacking player is less than one metre from the wall for a free-kick, that team will be penalised and an indirect kick for the defending team will occur as a result.

“There is no legitimate tactical justification for attackers to be in the ‘wall’ and their presence is against the ‘spirit of the game’ and often damages the image of the game,” The IFAB said.

Players substituted off must leave pitch at earliest location:

In an effort to clamp down on time-wasting teams, players who are substituted out of the game must leave at the nearest touchline, instead of waiting for them to wonder across the whole field.

For instance, players on the opposite side of the ground to where the benches are must walk along the outer perimeter of the pitch and either go straight to the dressing room or onto the bench.

Yellow and red cards for coaches:

All coaches from each team will receive cards if deemed necessary by the referee, keeping it consistent across the board.

Coaches may receive a card for any offence that goes against the game, including outbursts at officials, getting involved in fracas and time-wasting.

This is something we’ve seen in the Hyundai A-League and will be making its way across to other leagues.

Goalkeepers to have one foot on line for penalty kicks:

The issue of penalty kicks has cropped up a few times in recent years and the trend has been towards reducing the freedom of the goalkeeper.

That hasn’t changed with the latest update to the rules, which dictate that the shot-stopper must not be moving or touching the goalposts.

“Allowing the goalkeeper to have only one foot touching the goal line (or, if jumping, in line with the goal line) when the penalty kick is taken is a more practical approach as it is easier to identify if both feet are not on the line,” goes the IFAB’s explanation.

“As the kicker can ‘stutter’ in the run, it is reasonable that the goalkeeper can take one step in anticipation of the kick.”

Accidental handballs will be given:

If the ball is handled by an outfield player and crosses the goal line, the goal will be cancelled and even if unintentional, a handball will be deemed the infringement.

A free-kick will also result if a handling the ball creates an advantage or subsequently scores.

Non-competitive drop balls:

If the play has stopped when the ball is in the penalty area, the ball will always be dropped for the goalkeeper.

For any other part of the field, when it’s a drop ball it will only be a player from the team that last touched the ball.

This removes the contested drop ball which is a fifty-fifty chance.

“The current dropped ball procedure often leads to a ‘manufactured’ restart which is ‘exploited’ unfairly (e.g. kicking the ball out for a throw-in deep in the opponents’ half) or an aggressive confrontation,” the IFAB said.

“Returning the ball to the team that last played it restores what was ‘lost’ when play was stopped, except in the penalty area where it is simpler to return the ball to the goalkeeper.

“To prevent that team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the player receiving the ball, must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away.”

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

FIFA’s commercial partnership structure unlocks opportunities

FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

For the first time in eight years, FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

Three partnership variables have been launched which include women’s football, men’s football and Esports/gaming. As a starting point, brands will now be able to negotiate dedicated partnerships with women’s football and Esports.

FIFA are building on their Women’s Football strategy implemented from 2018, by launching a dedicated women’s soccer commercial vertical to show their commitment to making soccer more accessible for women and girls across the globe. Their main aim from this vertical is to accelerate the growth and equality of the women’s game.

As for opportunities that provides for Australia, it could be a key driver for broadening the business side in women’s soccer, as well as the ever-growing Esports.

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman:

“This marks a groundbreaking moment to maximise the growth of the women’s game and its marketing appeal, as we create equal commercial models across Women’s and Men’s Football for the first time,” she said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for brands who want to support women’s sport, help accelerate women’s equality, and wish to align themselves with the unparalleled momentum around women’s football.”

A dedicated partnerships structure for Esports will allow FIFA to further broaden its gaming footprint. The structure provides exciting opportunities to participate in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Overall, FIFA’s new partnership structure includes the following:

  • All partners will receive extensive global commercial rights across national team tournaments.
  • Sponsors will receive global activation rights surrounding the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and/or across all FIFAe competitions.
  • Tournament Supporters will be able to select territorial activation rights for any of the above listed tournaments.
  • FIFA partners continue to hold the highest level of association with global partner status and category exclusivity across competitions.
  • FIFA’s new commercial approach will enable brands to benefit from new opportunities to associate with FIFA’s brand for business-driven purposes

FIFA Chief Commercial Officer, Kay Madati, on the impact these changes will make:

“As we continually work to make football truly global, accessible and inclusive, we recognised the need for a nimble and customisable commercial structure that enables brands big and small, global and local, to connect with all aspects of the beautiful game,” he said.

“The new model will allow our partners to create more tailored programming and marketing activations that align directly with their strategic business goals, and connect them to the world’s most passionate fans, in the world’s most engaging sport.”

28 Australian Match Officials recognised by FIFA for 2022

Football Australia has announced that 28 of Australia's Match Officials have been appointed to FIFA's Panel of International Referees.

Football Australia has announced that 28 of Australia’s Match Officials have been appointed to FIFA’s Panel of International Referees for 2022.

The list includes Referees, Assistant referees, Futsal referees, and Video Match Officials – all of whom are enabled to officiate FIFA sanctioned tournaments and fixtures.

The list includes four new Australian match officials, featuring two match referees and two assistant referees. They are Daniel Elder and Adam Kersey from the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s competition, and assistant referees Lauren Hargrave and Kearney Robinson respectively.

With all officials becoming debutants on FIFA’s esteemed list, it serves as recognition on a worldwide scale.

Football Australian Chairman and Chair of Football Australia Referees Committee, Chris Nikou:

“Australian match officials have always been highly regarded within the global football landscape and it is pleasing to see that FIFA has continued to recognise this through the appointment of 28 Australians to the Panel of International Referees for 2022,” he said.

“Congratulations to the new additions to the panel in Daniel (Elder), Adam (Kersey), Lauren (Hargrave), and Kearney (Robinson).”

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson:

“Refereeing remains a key focus for Football Australia, and it is pleasing to see Australian Match Officials once again recognised by FIFA. We congratulate all the 2022 Panel or their opportunity to represent Australian football on the global stage,” he said.“With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ now just 11 months away and a home Women’s World Cup™ in 2023, it is an exciting time for Australian refereeing and football more broadly.”

Four other Australian match officials are also being acknowledged for their selection to officiate in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022. Referees Casey Reibelt, Lara Lee, Kate Jacewicz, and Assistant Referee Joanna Charaktis will represent Australia in India over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, seasoned Australian referees Matthew Cream and Renae Coghill called time on their international refereeing careers at the end of 2021.

The full list of Australian Match Officials selected for FIFA’s Panel of International Referees for 2022 is below:

Name

Role

FIFA International Since

Kurt AMS

Referee

2019

Jonathan BARREIRO

Referee

2019

Christopher BEATH

Referee

2011

Rebecca DURCAU

Referee

2017

Daniel ELDER

Referee

2022

Shaun EVANS

Referee

2017

Kate JACEWICZ

Referee

2011

Adam KERSEY

Referee

2022

Alexander KING

Referee

2020

Lara LEE

Referee

2019

Casey REIBELT

Referee

2014

Ashley BEECHAM

Assistant Referee

2013

Joanna CHARAKTIS

Assistant Referee

2019

Ryan GALLAGHER

Assistant Referee

2016

Owen GOLDRICK

Assistant Referee

2018

Lance GREENSHIELDS

Assistant Referee

2019

Lauren HARGRAVE

Assistant Referee

2022

Sarah HO

Assistant Referee

2004

George LAKRINDIS

Assistant Referee

2016

Andrew LINDSAY

Assistant Referee

2019

Nathan MACDONALD

Assistant Referee

2012

Laura MOYA

Assistant Referee

2017

Kearney ROBINSON

Assistant Referee

2022

Anton SHCHETININ

Assistant Referee

2016

Andrew BEST

Futsal Referee

2017

Jonathon MOORE

Futsal Referee

2018

Ryan SHEPHEARD

Futsal Referee

2009

Darius TURNER

Futsal Referee

2013

Note: Match Officials listed in bold are recognised as FIFA Video Match Officials (VMOs).

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