Football lawmakers decided Friday that accidental contact of the ball with the hand during game development culminating with a teammate’s score would not be grounds for scoring a goal.
The action was taken by the FIFA Council, a body made up of FIFA and the four federations that set the rules for soccer, after the sport was outraged by how unfairly the goals were canceled.
“An accidental hand that leads to a goal scoring by a teammate or a chance to score a goal will not be considered a mistake,” FIFA said in a statement after a virtual meeting.
Referees were encouraged to “use their discretion” when analyzing the position of the hands and arms when the ball hits these limbs.
“Since the interpretation of accidents involving hand contact has not always been consistent due to improper application of the rules, members have assured that any contact of the ball with the player’s hand / arm is not wrong,” IFAB explained.
This change to the rules of the game will take effect on July 1, although the IFAB has indicated that associations will have the opportunity to apply them before this date.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has also allowed an extension of the rule to change five players for part of a team in a match until the 2022 World Cup Finals. The tight match schedule due to the Coronavirus pandemic this year has led to regulations giving clubs two additional player changes. For every game. This rule is currently in effect until July 2022 for national teams, but the International Football Council indicated that it “will remain under review.”
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