A lot of controversy has reigned in the soccer world when it comes to the matters of handballs in a football match whenever the referee makes a decision over the same, but this is expected no more.
Goals scored or created with the use of an accidental handball will not stand from next season onwards, the International FA Board (Ifab) have confirmed.
The changes mean that a free-kick will be awarded when a goal or clear chance occurs from a handball. Ifab technical director David Elleray explained the changes at their AGM in Aberdeen.
“Deliberate handball remains an offence,” Elleray stressed.”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 changes mean gaining control or possession and then scoring as a consequence of handling the ball will not be allowed – neither will a goal scored directly from handling the ball, regardless of intent.
Another change to the laws of the game means that if the player’s arms extend beyond a “natural silhouette”, handball will be given, even if it is perceived as accidental.
Elleray says this is an effort to put an end to defenders placing their arms behind their backs in fear of giving away a free-kick.
“We’ve changed it to say the body has a certain silhouette,” said Elleray. “If the arms are extended beyond that silhouette then the body is being made unnaturally bigger, with the purpose of it being a bigger barrier to the opponent or the ball.
“Players should be allowed to have their arms by their side because it’s their natural silhouette.”
In other changes approved by Ifab, substitutes will have to leave the pitch at the nearest goalline or touchline instead of walking to their technical area in a bid to stop time wasting.
Additional approved law changes included measures to deal with attacking players causing problems in the defensive wall, giving a dropped ball in certain situations when the ball hits the referee and the goalkeeper only being required to have one foot on the line at a penalty kick.