At its 137th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in London today, The IFAB approved a number of changes and clarifications to the Laws of the Game and confirmed the decision taken at the recent Annual Business Meeting (ABM) to trial the broadcasting of video assistant referee (VAR) review decisions in-stadium and to a live television audience.
The AGM, chaired by Debbie Hewitt, Chair of The FA, and attended by representatives from FIFA, The FA, the Irish FA, the Scottish FA, the FA of Wales and The IFAB administration, made the decision to further improve communication to fans in stadiums. The 12-month trial exclusively relating to VAR decisions at FIFA tournaments began at the FIFA Club World Cup 2022™ in Morocco earlier this year, and it will also be implemented at the FIFA U-20 World Cup™ in Indonesia in May to June 2023. A decision will then be made as to whether the trial will be continued at other FIFA tournaments later this year.
FIFA provided updates on the successful application of semi-automated offside technology and integration of VAR ‘light’, and it was agreed to review the VAR protocol, procedures and practicalities with key stakeholders. For those competitions not having the resources to implement VAR and VAR ‘light’, there was an endorsement of a trial of an additional video review system with the intention of making this available across the game worldwide.
In relation to the Laws of the Game 2023/24, which will come into effect on 1 July 2023, it was agreed to include confirmation of the published offside situations as per Law 11.
A complete list of changes and clarifications to the Laws of the Game will be published on theifab.com within the next week. Competitions starting before 1 July 2023 may implement the changes earlier or delay their implementation until no later than the start of the subsequent competition.
Members were informed of a new IFAB publication –‘Football Rules’ – simplified Laws of the Game – which uses more straightforward language and a simpler structure which are designed to make the Laws even more accessible, especially for young people, players, coaches and spectators.
The members received an update on the trial with additional permanent concussion substitutes, which was extended at the ABM to facilitate the collection of additional data. Regarding temporary concussion substitutions, the AGM confirmed that trials will not take place at this stage but remain under active review. It was agreed that there should be improved focus on education to improve the application of the protocols drawn up for permanent concussion substitutes.
The approach taken during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, where a more accurate calculation of ‘additional time’ was implemented, was positively received. It was agreed that competitions around the world should follow this approach.
It was also agreed to establish a working group to focus on further ways of improving discipline and reducing aggression towards match officials, players and team officials at grassroots and amateur level. In this regard, The FA reported on a trial approved by The IFAB and implemented at grassroots level, where referees wear body cameras that record all communications with players and coaches.