26 OCT 23
IFAB advisory panels recommend measures to improve participant behaviour in football

Today’s virtual meeting of The IFAB’s Football and Technical Advisory Panels (FAP-TAP), chaired by Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association, addressed a number of topics, with a particular focus on possible measures to improve participant behaviour and ensure increased respect for match officials.

The panels’ members were updated on the ongoing efforts to identify possible measures and trials to improve participant behaviour. The discussions centred around preventing escalation on the pitch by adopting a more stringent approach towards players and coaches who demonstrate disrespectful conduct.

Identified as the primary reason for match interruptions and abandonments, the panels discussed whether confrontations could be better handled by permitting only the team captains to interact with the referee in certain situations, with proposals being presented to help the referee mellow participants during a mass confrontation.

The panels also analysed potential strategies to address the time lost in matches and deliberate attempts by teams to disrupt the game’s tempo and flow, including considerations around the application of the six-seconds rule for goalkeepers, delaying restarts and injuries.

The members were also updated on the trial involving match officials wearing body cameras at grassroots level, with an emphasis on how that measure could deter cases of serious misconduct towards officials.

An expert group will further deliberate and help identify concrete and effective measures in the lead-up to The IFAB’s next Annual General Meeting, to be held in Glasgow on 2 March 2024.

The panels discussed the integration and evolution of the video assistant referee (VAR) system since it was first used seven years ago. The members were updated on the forthcoming work of a protocol review group that will examine whether the VAR protocol requires any modifications. Any proposed changes will be considered in collaboration with major football competitions with extensive experience of using the VAR system, prior to presenting any formal recommendations to The IFAB concerning amendments or trials.

The meeting concluded with FIFA providing insight into the VAR decision communication trial, noting its effectiveness and the potential for it to be extended to other competitions eager to participate in order to examine the best possible approach for this new development in the use of VAR.

With regard to The IFAB’s communication efforts, the members were informed about footballrules.com, a simplified version of the Laws of the Game available online and via an app with a view to making the rules of football more accessible and easier to understand.