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IFAB make changes to handball law

Britain Soccer Premier League

Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku, center, celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game during their English Premier League soccer match against Fulham at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Barrington Coombs/PA via AP)


The International FA board (IFAB) have confirmed that changes have been made to the deliberate handball law at their AGM in Scotland.

“At last, some clarity!” I hear you cry. Let’s see how this goes...

IFAB have confirmed that from next season any goal scored with a hand will be ruled out, with handballs not deemed as deliberate being penalized. A free kick will be awarded when a goal or clear chance is denied by a handball.

Via the BBC, former Premier League referee David Elleray (now IFAB’s technical director) explained the main change to the handball law confirmed from the meeting in Aberdeen.

“Deliberate handball remains an offence,” Elleray said. “In the past we’ve managed to improve the laws by focusing on outcome rather than intent. What we are looking at particularly in attacking situations is where the player gets a clear unfair advantage by gaining possession or control of the ball, as a result of it making contact with their hand or arm.”

The main change to know here is that regardless of intent, any goal scored with a handball will now be disallowed. Another key change ratified by IFAB includes stopping a player from having to put his hands behind his back in fear of committing a ball. Elleray refers to that as a “natural silhouette” and if the ball hits the players arm beyond that silhouette handball will be given.

Other changes confirmed at the AGM include attacking players no longer allowed to stand in the defending wall during free kicks, while goalkeepers now only have to keep one foot on the line during a penalty kick.

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