Notes on the Laws

Official languages

The IFAB publishes the Laws of the Game in English, French, German and Spanish. If there is any divergence in the wording, the English text is authoritative.

Other languages

National FAs which translate the Laws of the Game can obtain the layout template for the 2024/25 edition of the Laws from The IFAB by contacting: [email protected].

National FAs which produce a translated version of the Laws of the Game using this format are invited to send a copy to The IFAB (stating clearly on the front cover that it is that national FA’s official translation) so it can be posted on The IFAB website for use by others.


If there is any divergence between metric and imperial units, the metric units are authoritative.

Applying the Laws

The same Laws apply in every match in every confederation, country, town and village and, apart from the modifications permitted by The IFAB (see ‘General modifications’), the Laws must not be modified or changed, except with the permission of The IFAB.

Those who are educating match officials and other participants, should emphasise that:

  • referees should apply the Laws within the ‘spirit’ of the game to help produce fair and safe matches
  • everyone must respect the match officials and their decisions, remembering and respecting that referees are human and will make mistakes

Players have a major responsibility for the image of the game and the team captain should play an important role in helping to ensure that the Laws and referees’ decisions are respected.

Viewing changes

The latest changes can be displayed throughout the website by clicking on the icon that appears in the top right-hand corner of pages that have undergone changes.

  • The main Law changes are underlined in yellow.
  • Editorial changes are underlined in grey.
  • Removed content is displayed with strikethrough.


YC = yellow card (caution); RC = red card (sending-off).