'Triple punishment' discussed at IFAB AGM

Saturday 01 Mar 2014
Alex Horne led the FA delegation
Alex Horne has praised the success of goal-line technology and confirmed the issue of the 'triple punishment' has been discussed.

The FA's general secretary was speaking as the International Football Association Board (IFAB) held its annual general meeting in Switzerland on Saturday.

Horne endorsed the implementation of the new technology, while leading an FA delegation with chairman Greg Dyke and vice-chairman David Gill at the Zurich summit held at FIFA headquarters. 

On The IFAB agenda...

  • Triple punishment of red card, penalty and suspension
  • Goal-line technology update
  • Introduction of Technical and Football Panels
  • Wearing of head covers (Law 4)
  • Rolling subs pilot
  • Electronic performance tracking
  • 'Sin bins' pilot
  • Video replays

“It is something we advocated for many, many years,” Horne said. “It has been wholly justified. I know in the Premier League alone, we have had 13 instances this season where the referee has relied on the system. 

“Of course we have used it at Wembley for the whole season and it will be live in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday. It works.”

Also on the agenda was the ‘triple punishment’ – that has been heavily debated in recent weeks. Concerns were raised that if red cards were to be removed, it would lead to cynical fouls – as was the case under the previous wording of ‘Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct’ in relation to sending off offences. 

It was decided that the advisory panels should consider the matter to analyse how Law 12 might be further clarified.  

Horne added: “It was 1990 when we first introduced it to try and get rid of really clinical tackles from the game. 

“It has been in place and it has probably kind of run its course but don't we have a better alternative. The whole point of IFAB moving forward is we listen to football people, so it will be high on the panel’s agenda.”

Saturday’s meeting was the 128th AGM since the IFAB was formed in 1886 - and the first since the historic foundation meeting on 13 January 2014, which marked a new era for football’s rule-making body in becoming an independent association under the Swiss Civil Code.

In relation to the Laws of the Game, the IFAB approved the modification to the interpretation of ‘Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment’ specifying the provisions by which male and female players can now wear head covers. 

After a two-year pilot, the IFAB agreed that there was no indication as to why the wearing of head covers should be prohibited, as long as their design restrictions are respected in line with the new wording of Law 4, agreed on at Saturday’s AGM. 

Law 4 was also modified to clarify that both compulsory equipment and undergarments must not have any kind of slogans, statements or images. 

On the agenda point relating to rolling subs for amateur and recreational football, which was submitted by The FA and the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the IFAB decided that the pilots initiated by The FA and the SFA shall continue and that the results will be submitted to the two new advisory panels for further discussion. 

The matter of electronic performance and tracking systems, which relates to players wearing chips or other small devices that can monitor player performance, will be referred to the advisory panels. 

The gathering will take place at FIFA HQ in March

The meeting took place a FIFA HQ in Zurich

The first report that the panels will receive will be from next week’s Algarve Cup in Portugal, where tIFAB has initiated and permitted a trial of some of these systems for the senior women’s teams involved.

For the submission from UEFA relating to the use of ‘Sin Bins’ in recreational youth football, the IFAB agreed that the experiments may continue, under the control of the IFAB, and that the advisory panels should further deliberate on the matter. 

The IFAB will also instruct the two advisory panels to discuss Law 12 with respect to handling the ball, after an initial proposal from the Football Association of Wales, to advise if any modification should be made. 

After a discussion on the potential use of video replays for match officials, the IFAB remains of the view that technology should be allowed only for goal-line incidents, since it is a clear yes or no decision. Concerns were raised about video replays slowing the game down and increasing the number of stoppages. 

A proposal from the technical sub-committee was approved whereby the IFAB will appoint a group to revise the structure and format of the Laws of the Game including changes such as the addition of a glossary. 

Modifications to the Laws of the Game made at Saturday’s AGM will come into effect on 1 June 2014, taking into account the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The 129th AGM will take place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 27 February - 1 March 2015.

By FA Staff