The 131st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of The IFAB will take place at Wembley Stadium on Friday, 3 March and will be chaired by Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football Association.
Following last year’s major revision of the Laws of the Game which made them easier to understand and more consistent in their interpretation and application, this year’s AGM will be asked to approve final ‘tiding up’ to assist translation and interpretation of some of the changes of the Laws of the Game introduced in 2016. This will represent the final stage of the overall major textual revision of the Laws.
The AGM will be asked to extend the “Modifications” section of the Laws of the Game to give national football associations more freedom and responsibility to modify the organisational Laws, e.g. number of substitutions and length of play, to assist with the development of their domestic football by promoting and encouraging more people to take part in the game. National football associations will be permitted to decide at which levels the modifications are applied in their domestic football, except for competitions involving the first team of clubs in the top league and senior ‘A’ international teams.
Additionally, as part of “Modifications”, the proposal to allow temporary dismissals (sin bins) in youth, veterans, disability and grassroots football for yellow card offences will be considered following tests in UEFA’s development competitions over the last three years.
On the topic of video assistant referees (VARs), the AGM will receive updates on the completion of the first phase of experiments including reports from the workshops held and more than 20 test matches organised to test the VAR protocols which were approved one year ago. The AGM will receive detailed information on the key learning areas which will be incorporated into the ‘live’ experiments which will start in almost 20 competitions from around the world in 2017.
The IFAB’s overall strategy will also be discussed., It ranges from expanding football’s philosophy of fairness to ensuring that ideas for development of the game are considered, tested and introduced in the right way and for the right reasons as well as embracing relevant and supportive technology. Central to the strategy will be even closer relationships and exchanges with football stakeholders to ensure The IFAB’s proposals and decisions relate to “what football wants”. Particular focus will be given to the role of the captain and how her/his responsibilities could be enhanced as part of a move to improve on-field discipline and create better communication between players and match officials.
Additional agenda items include an update on experiments with the Law 12 change to the punishment for some denial of a goal-scoring opportunities as well as 4th substitutes in extra time; both changes are currently being trialled.
The AGM will be asked to approve the development of the first minimum standard for electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) which will regulate the safety of devices worn by players on the field of play. The AGM will also consider allowing the use of electronic devices in the technical area, limited to treating injured players, e.g. assessing the point of contact for a head injury to determine if it could be serious.
As part of the deliberations, The IFAB will analyse feedback from its Football Advisory Panel and Technical Advisory Panel, which consist of representatives from across the world of football and meet twice a year to discuss topical matters related to the Laws.
The IFAB members (the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as FIFA, representing the other 207 national associations) take turns to host the AGM in rotation. Any amendment to the Laws of the Game requires a majority of six out of eight votes at the AGM.
Society member James Sheils appointed to officiate on UEFA Regions Cup Qualifier.
Congratulations to all the officials appointed.
Tuesday 28th February 2017
Gwent County FA v South Wales FA
19.30 Kick Off
Referee: Ryan Kenny
Assistant Referees: James Sheils & Jack Deschoolmeester
UEFA has gathered its referees together in Spain for the annual winter refresher courses, with the key message to never stand still and keep up the standards that have made European match officials respected in the world game.
A total of 128 male and female referees from across the continent are enjoying the onset of Mediterranean spring in Malaga at two specific gatherings – an advanced course for elite referees, and an introductory course for newcomers to the FIFA international list.
Training sessions and fitness checks, including visual tests and body fat measuring, are on a packed agenda this week, together with instruction sessions, group discussions and feedback meetings, led by the former international referees that comprise UEFA’s Referees Committee.
The new referees are being introduced to the various facets of being a UEFA match official – what is expected of them in terms of preparation and decision-making consistency, putting over the correct image as UEFA’s representatives on the field, protecting football’s image, and the need to be total professionals and dedicated athletes as they set out on their European careers.
“We want to tell them what being an international referee means, to give them instructions, and highlight the key points that can be important for them,” said UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina.
The advanced course referees are reviewing the past few months, and looking ahead to future assignments in major club and national team competitions in the spring.
The elite women referees face an important few months, with many of them looking ahead to taking part in UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 in the Netherlands in June and July.
“We are coming back from the winter break,” said Collina. “We want to check the referees’ fitness, and touch base on what happened in the first part of the season, while giving them input on the matches they are going to referee very soon.”
Course content is mainly based on events in the first part of 2016/17. “Sometimes there are incidents that are becoming a trend, so we want to analyse them quite carefully,” Collina explained. “There are decisions that we want to highlight to the other referees – either positive decisions or mistakes.
“The aim is not to highlight the mistakes themselves, but to look for solutions, to ensure that the same mistakes are not made again in the future.”
The regular praise given to European referees included particular plaudits for excellent displays at UEFA EURO 2016 last summer. “But this is the past,” Collina underlined as the UEFA refereeing community strives to raise the performance bar even higher.
“We can’t continue to look at the successes we had in the past – we need to look forward. We are already in the middle of a new season, and nobody will remember what we did positively in the past; the expectation is for good decisions in the future.”
On behalf of our Chairman, may I invite you to the next Society meeting which will take place on Monday 30th January 2017 at the Ford Club, Treboeth, Swansea.
We will be holding a youth section at the earlier time of 6:45pm.
Main meeting to commence at 7:30pm.
The Chairman and I look forward to seeing you all.