The IFAB’s Football and Technical Advisory Panels met today in Zurich for their 8th meeting which was chaired by the Chief Executive of the Irish FA, Patrick Nelson. The panels were introduced in 2014 to bring a wide range of expertise and views into The IFAB’s decision-making process.
The members gave positive feedback on the main changes to the Laws of the Game 2019/20 and were presented with clarifications and some resulting changes for the Laws of the Game 2020/21. This included some fine-tuning of handball and penalty kicks.
The advisory panels started consideration of concussion during matches. Following a presentation from a leading expert in concussion in sport, possible options for assessment and management of concussion during a match were discussed. The panels agreed that any solutions would have to take account of both player welfare and the need to ensure sporting fairness.
Given the complex nature of assessing and managing concussion at different levels of the game, the members recommended that an expert group should focus on this important topic in the coming months.
The panels then reviewed the Law changes that have resulted from the play-fair! initiative and turned their attention to how the Laws can continue to improve player behaviour and increase respect with particular focus on increasing the role of the captain and reducing ‘mobbing’ of match officials, two issues that are regularly raised by the football public.
Discussion on Video Assistant Referees (VAR) was primarily concerned with ways in which communication of the decision-making process could be improved.
The views of the panels will be shared at the Annual Business Meeting (ABM) which is scheduled for 3 December 2019 in Northern Ireland and will inform the discussions at that meeting.