Crazy new IFAB penalty rule to come into play next season

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On March 2nd, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) held its 133rd Annual General Meeting. As well as assessing the use of Video Assistant Referees (VARs), they discussed a number of changes to the Laws of the game, including one rather controversial one.

As of next season, the IFAB has brought in a new rule relating to penalties, which effectively rules out rebounds being scored after a penalty has been saved.

Under the current laws, a saved penalty still gives the attacking team an opportunity to smuggle the ball into the net inside the penalty area. But, these new IFAB rules basically mean that play will be halted if the ball hits the post or is saved by the ‘keeper.

This could be a momentous decision, one that will impact the way in which penalty-takers approach spot-kicks next season. We might see a departure from the Paul Pogba-inspired eternal run-up, or even perhaps Mo Salah’s power-over-precision method.

We all remember Xabi Alonso’s saved penalty against AC Milan in the 2005 Champion’s League final, and his subsequent follow up to bring the score to 3-3. We have to say, the fact these moments of drama will be eliminated from the game is pretty depressing to say the least.

As well as this new rule for penalities, the IFAB have approved changes to the Laws of the Game “related to a player being substituted having to leave the field of play at the nearest boundary line, yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials and the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks and defending team free kicks in the penalty area.

They have also decided to enact “measures to deal with attacking players causing problems in the defensive ‘wall’, changing the dropped ball procedure, 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.”

Finally, from the people that are bringing us VAR, it looks like the handball issue might finally be resolved. As of next season: “a goal scored directly from the hand/arm (even if accidental) and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity after having gained possession/control of the ball from their hand/arm (even if accidental) will no longer be allowed.”

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