IFAB revises handball rule

The IFAB has revised the handball rules, confirming the ‘accidental handball leading to a teammate scoring a goal will no longer be an offence’.

The International Football Association Board is the only body responsible for changing the rules and has released a statement of the revised handball rules from this July.

“As the interpretation of handball incidents has not always been consistent due to incorrect applications of the Law, the members confirmed that not every touch of a player’s hand /arm with the ball is an offence,” the statement said.

“In terms of the criterion of the hand/arm making a player’s body ‘unnaturally bigger’, it was confirmed that referees should continue to use their judgement in determining the validity of the hand/arm’s position in relation to the player’s movement in that specific situation.

“Following this clarification, it is a handball office if a player:

– deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, for example moving the hand/arm towards the ball;

– touches the ball with their hand/arm when it had made their body unnaturally bigger. A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised; or

– scores in the opponents’ goal: directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including the goalkeeper; or immediately after the ball has touched their hand/arm, even if accidental.

“Accidental handball that leads to a teammate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence.”


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