The International Football Association Board (IFAB) convened for its Annual General Meeting on 3 March 2012, at the Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey, England.
In relation to the proposed amendments to the Laws of the Game, approval was granted by the IFAB to amend Law 1 (The Field of Play, Commercial Advertising), clearly defining the location of upright advertising. Approval was also granted to The FA’s proposal regarding modifications to the number of substitutions allowed in amateur football. An option was offered to all four British Associations to carry out a two-year experiment.
FIFA agreed to withdraw the proposed amendment to Law 3 (The Numbers of Players) in relation to a fourth substitution being used during extra time, and the proposal regarding Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) concerning the so-called “Triple Punishment” will be reviewed further.
In other matters, the IFAB received a presentation on the Additional Assistant Referees (AAR) experiment. Experiments are ongoing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, as well as competitions in Brazil, Morocco and Qatar. A final report will be made at the Special Meeting of the IFAB on 2 July, following the conclusion of the UEFA Euro 2012 competition, in order that a definitive decision on the future of AAR can also be made.
Finally, a presentation regarding the wearing of headscarves by female players was made to the IFAB. The IFAB agreed to the proposal in principle that headscarves be allowed, pending an accelerated review of health and safety issues. Therefore, a final endorsement will be made at the Special Meeting of the IFAB on 2 July.
The following amendments were approved by the IFAB:
Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment
Stockings – if tape or similar material is applied externally it must be the same colour as that part of the stocking it is applied to.
Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play
If the ball enters the goal:
• if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the opponents’ goal, a goal kick is awarded
• if a dropped ball is kicked directly into the teams’ own goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opposing team.
The decisions concerning the Laws of the Game taken by the IFAB will come into effect on 1 June 2012.