Although it’s taken a ridiculous interpretation of the handball ruling for the IFAB to finally see common sense in one of their rules, at least things are about to change.
Better late than never you might say.
During Fulham’s game against Tottenham, the Cottagers seemed to have a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out, despite Mario Lemina having his hand down by his side when the ball hit him.
If anything, it showed up the incompetence of the officials working the VAR, rather than a fault with the technology itself.
In light of that particular decision, IFAB (International Football Association Board) have amended the handball ruling.
“Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence,” a statement on their website read.
They have also made changes regarding concussion substitutions, and to the amount of subs a team can use during a game.
“The members received an update on the early stages of the trials with concussion substitutes, approved at The IFAB Annual Business Meeting in 2020 (see The IFAB circular no. 21),” the statement continued.
“The IFAB confirmed that the decision to launch the concussion substitute trials was based on the strong recommendation of the Concussion Expert Group which consists of leading medical and football experts who closely examined the applicability of best practice in other sports to football.
“Regarding the temporary amendment to Law 3, which allows the option of permitting teams to use up to five substitutes in games in top-level competitions (for club competitions ending by 31 December 2021 and national-team competitions ending by 31 July 2022), the members agreed that the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football should remain under review.”
One can only hope that all three revised rules are for the betterment of the game.